Masiello handed 26-month ban for match-fixing

Former Bari defender Andrea Masiello, now with Atalanta, was banned for 26 months on Friday for his part in the latest match-fixing to hit Italian football.

Promoted Sampdoria were docked one point for the forthcoming Serie A campaign and fined 30,000 euros and Bari, who play in Serie B, were docked five points and fined 80,000 euros.

All the suspensions were handed down after the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) tribunal investigating the Calcioscommesse match-fixing scandal, the latest to hit Italian football, accepted plea bargain offers from the defendants.

Former Bari team-mates Alessandro Parisi, Marco Rossi and Marco Esposito were also suspended.

Parisi, who played for Torino in Serie B last season and is now a free agent, will serve a two-year ban, Rossi one year and eight months and Esposito three months and 10 days. The trio were also fined.

Attention focused on several Bari games in the 2010/11 season, when the team was still in Serie A, including one in May last year against local rivals Lecce. Bari, already relegated, lost that match 2-0 with Masiello scoring an own goal in the 80th minute.

Prosecutors believe an international gambling ring paid players to throw matches. Dozens of current and former players in teams ranging from the Serie A top division down to the lower leagues may have been involved, according to investigators.

The most high-profile case involves Juventus coach Antonio Conte who will go to a full sporting trial after his plea bargain offer of a three-month ban was rejected on Wednesday.

Conte, who led Juventus to the Serie A title last season, is accused of failing to report match-fixing in two games in the 2010/11 season when he was coach of Siena, then in Serie B.

Siena had six points deducted on Thursday, a penalty which will also be applied in the 2012/13 season.


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