ROME - Police have arrested former Italy
striker Giuseppe Signori and charged 15 others with involvement
in "organised crime" activities designed to influence matches in
Serie B and the lower divisions.
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) told Reuters it would
open an inquiry after Atalanta and Siena, due to be promoted to
Serie A next season, were named as being among the clubs under
Domestic football has been battling corruption for years with
the fallout from a major 2006 match-fix scandal in the top
flight still rumbling on in the criminal and sporting courts.
"State police from Cremona, collaborating with police
departments in Bari, Como, Bologna, Rimini, Pescara, Ancona,
Ascoli Piceno, Ravenna, Benevento, Roma, Torino, Napoli and
Ferrara have carried out 16 arrests," said a police statement on
"(This) follows an investigation into a series of episodes
connected to match-fixing which in past months has significantly
influenced the results of some matches in Serie B and Lega Pro
Former Lazio captain Signori has been placed under house
arrest with seven others while another seven have been held in
prison following the six-month probe.
A further request has been made to arrest another of the
accused who is outside Italy, according to a police source.
"As well as the arrests there are another 28 people under
investigation including footballers of a certain standing still
playing," said the source who declined to be identified.
"The investigative procedure," the police statement
continued, "was able to collect important and irrefutable
evidence to demonstrate the existence of an organised crime
group composing footballers, ex-footballers of international
standing, bookmakers and other individuals.
"Each, with specific and pre-determined roles, were able to
plan through verbal agreements or payments the fixing of some
"[There was] a serious incident on the occasion of a
football match that took place at the end of last year (in
Cremona)," the statement read.
"The investigation revealed criminal behaviour in a wider
context linked to several people in the footballing world who,
because of direct and indirect contacts, were able to influence
the results of several matches and thereby make a payment of
large sums of money through legal betting networks in Italy and
Signori scored 188 Serie A goals, winning 28 caps for Italy,
in an illustrious career.
Former Bari captain Antonio Bellavista, Benevento goalkeeper
Marco Paoloni, former AC Milan player Mauro Bressan and Ravenna
sporting director Giorgio Buffone were among those held in jail.
The revelations come just a day after prosecutors in Italy's
long-running 'calciopoli' trial requested former Juventus
general manager Luciano Moggi face five years and eight months
in jail if found guilty for his involvement in the 2006
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