Bari ultra bosses arrested in match-fixing probe

Three hardcore "ultra" fans of Italian Serie B side Bari were arrested on Thursday after being accused of threatening their own players with violence if they did not deliberately lose games.

The trio of ultra bosses have been accused of trying to make their players lose at least three matches during last season, when the Puglian club were in Serie A, allegedly in order to earn large sums of money through bets placed on Bari losing.

The matches being looked into are: Bari v Sampdoria (April 23, 2011, 1-0 to Sampdoria); Cesena v Bari (April 17, 2011, 1-0 to Cesena); and Bari v Chievo (March 20, 2011, 2-1 to Chievo).

However, according to testimony from former Bari goalkeeper Jean Francois Gillet, now at Bologna, and defender Marco Rossi, now at Cesena, the players apparently refused to carry out their demands.

The arrests come as part of the recent "calcioscommesse" scandal, in which 61 people and 22 clubs are being investigated as part of a probe into betting rings influencing the results of football matches.

The names, which include Serie A sides Atalanta, Siena and the now-relegated Novara, were released on Wednesday by federal prosecutor Stefano Palazzi, who is leading the investigation.

Former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni and former Lazio striker Giuseppe Signori are among the big names to have been arrested over the last year.