Soccer: three-and-half-year ban requested for Bonucci

Italy and Juventus defender suspected of match-fixing

Soccer: three-and-half-year ban requested for Bonucci

(ANSA) - Rome, August 3 - An Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) prosecutor on Friday requested that a sporting tribunal ban Italy and Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci for three and a half years for alleged match-fixing. He is suspected of sporting fraud during his time at former club Bari. The prosecutor, Stefano Palazzi, also asked for Bonuccìs Juventus teammate Simone Pepe to be given a one-year ban for failing to inform the authorities of plans to fix matches when he played for Udinese between 2007 and 2010. Palazzi requested Bologna be deducted two points for alleged wrongdoing by their former captain Marco Di Vaio and other employees regarding the alleged fixing of a match against Bari in May 2011. The punishments were requested at the latest of a series of sporting disciplinary hearings after revelations made by two big criminal probes in Cremona and Bari into betting-related match-fixing. Earlier on Friday former European Cup finalist Sampdoria were docked one point and ex-Bari defender Andrea Masiello was given a 26-month ban for involvement in Italy's latest match-fixing scandal on Friday. Masiello has been helping investigators with the probe and 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. Sampdoria, who won promotion from second tier last term, will start Serie A at -1 and have to pay a 30,000-euro fine after a disciplinary panel accepted a plea bargain. Serie B Bari were docked five points and fined 80,000 euros and several other players were given suspensions after reaching deals with prosecutors. On Thursday Palazzi requested Juventus coach Antonio Conte be banned for 15 months. Conte, who led Turin side Juve to the Serie A title last season, is charged with having known about agreements to fix two matches when he was in charge of Siena in the second tier in the 2010-11 campaign and failing to inform the authorities. On Wednesday the FIGC's disciplinary panel rejected a deal Conte had reached with Palazzi to accept a three-month ban and a 200,000-euro fine to close the charges against him. The FIGC panel gave Siena, who are now in the top flight, Serie A, thanks to Conte, a six-point penalty and 20,000-euro fine for indirect responsibility for their staff's behaviour. It also deducted promoted Torino one point. Over 40 people have been arrested since the Cremona-based 'Last Bet' criminal probe went public last year, leading sporting prosecutors to look at the case. They include Lazio midfielder Stefano Mauri and former Italy internationals Beppe Signori and Cristiano Doni. Italy's sporting-justice system had already given out punishments related to the match-fixing at previous rounds of hearings. Signori and Doni are among a raft of people to have been banned from soccer and Bergamo-based Atalanta had six points deducted at the start of last season and will start the 2012-13 campaign at -2. 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.

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