Bari

Soccer: Prosecutors wrap up Bari branch of fix probes

Torino keeper Gillet among 36 facing charges

Soccer: Prosecutors wrap up Bari branch of fix probes

Bari, January 9 - Prosecutors in Bari have wrapped up three probes into alleged betting-related match-fixing in Italian soccer and notified 36 people that they are likely to face criminal charges. The probes are part of a wider set of investigations into match-fixing that have already led to criminal sentences and penalties for several Serie A sides from sporting tribunals. Torino goalkeeper Jean-Francois Gillet is among the 36 to receive the notification from prosecutors and, like most of the others, he is a former Bari player. The athletes are suspected of sporting fraud. Prosecutors believe the Bari players 'sold' four matches, a 1-0 defeat at Treviso in May 2008, a 3-2 loss to Salernitana in May 2009 - both in Serie B - for a combined total of 220,000 euros and top-flight defeats to Sampdoria and Palermo, 1-0 and 2-1 in April and May 2011 respectively, for 140,000 euros. Lawyers representing Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia, another Bari ex, said prosecutors had decided not to press charges against him after initially putting him under investigation. Three Bari fans also face charges for attacking players and trying to intimidate them into throwing two Serie A matches in April 2011. Over 40 people have been arrested since the the first of the probes, the Cremona-based 'Last Bet' criminal investigation went public in 2011, leading sporting prosecutors to look at the case. They include Lazio midfielder Stefano Mauri and former Italy internationals Beppe Signori and Cristiano Doni. Four Serie A sides started this season with points deducted because of their players' involvement - Siena (-6), Atalanta (-2), Torino (-1) and Sampdoria (-1). Napoli were docked two points last month for their players' involvement in an attempt to fix a match against Sampdoria in 2010. Napoli defenders Paolo Cannavaro, the brother of Italy's retired 2006 World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro, and Gianluca Grava were banned for six months for failing to report the attempted fix to the authorities. In December Juventus boss Antonio Conte finished serving a four-month ban for failing to report a deal to fix a match during his time at former club Siena. Among the 36 suspects to receive notification on Wednesday was former Bari defender Andrea Masiello, who was given a suspended 22-month prison sentence after a plea bargain with criminal prosecutors in October. Masiello, who had already been banned from soccer by a sporting tribunal, admitted to deliberately scoring an own goal to ensure Bari lost 2-0 to Lecce in the 2010-11 campaign, when they were relegated to Serie B. A Bari court found the 26-year-old guilty of criminal association and sporting fraud regarding the fixing of four matches. The new case has rocked the Italian soccer world again after Juventus were relegated and stripped of two Serie A titles for involvement in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal in 2006. That scandal regarded schemes to have compliant referees officiate some teams' matches.

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