Pescara have two points deducted in scandal

Promoted Serie A side Pescara will start next season with a two-point deduction and several lower league players will serve hefty bans after the Italian football federation ruled on the country's latest match-fixing scandal on Monday.

Pescara president Daniele Sebastiani said the club, who were Serie B champions last term before losing their coach Zdenek Zeman to AS Roma, would fight the decision of the federation to uphold a prosecutor's charge.

"We didn't expect this decision, rather we expected to be acquitted," Sebastiani told reporters.

"Evidently in this first phase of the investigation the sporting judges wanted to give strength to the prosecution's version (of events).

"We have absolutely nothing to do with any of this, and we will go, if we need to, all the way to CONI (The Italian Olympic Committee)."

Piacenza's Mario Cassano, Ravenna's Alessandro Zamperini and ex-pros Luigi Sartor and Nicola Santoni were banned from football for five years following the wide-ranging sporting investigation into match-fixing for betting syndicates.

A police case is ongoing.

Former Inter Milan forward Nicola Ventola, who retired last year, was given a three-and-a-half-year ban by the federation.

Serie A sides Siena and Sampdoria were both given fines of 50,000 euros for alleged collusion while playing in the second tier.

PLAYERS ARRESTED

The federation has, however, lessened some of the punishments recommended by federal prosecutor Stefano Palazzi and Novara, who were relegated to Serie B last season, will start with a four-point deduction instead of the six suggested.

Third-tier side Albinoleffe had their potential 27-point deduction reduced to 15, although they were also given a fine of 90,000 euros.

Serie B outfit Padova were handed a two-point deduction, Empoli received one point and Reggina four, while third division club Piacenza were deducted 11 and fined 70,000 euros.

Italian football was still recovering from the 2006 "Calciopoli" match-fixing scandal when the latest trouble exploded last June.

Former Lazio striker Giuseppe Signori, Lazio captain Stefano Mauri and ex-Atalanta skipper Cristiano Doni have been arrested and a number of Serie B, Lega Pro Prima Divisione (third tier) and Seconda Divisione (fourth tier) matches are suspected of being rigged.

Juventus manager Antonio Conte has been accused by Filippo Carobbio, one of his former Siena players, of knowing about his team organising results in the 2010-11 season. Conte denies wrongdoing.

Last month, police raided Italy's pre-Euro 2012 training camp and put Domenico Criscito formally under investigation, leading to the left back being dropped from the tournament squad.

Top flight Atalanta stayed up last season despite a six-point deduction for their role in the initial stage of the scandal.


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