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Italian Match Fixing Scandal : AS Roma and Fiorentina Now Suspects

Italian Match Fixing Scandal expands and is getting one of the biggest in italian football history. AS Roma and Fiorentina are involved as well.

Italy has seen some football and match fixing scandals in the past. But the recent match fixing scandal is getting bigger and bigger every day. AS Roma and Fiorentina are latest prominent italian football ” calcios ”, which are suspects in the latest match fixing scandal in Italy. Although clubs deny any irregularity, bookmakers flag up ten suspicous results.

Many punters hinted that the Genoa-AS Roma game on 20 February would end in a goalfest and as it turned out, the amazing 4-3 result cost AS Roma’s manager Claudio Ranieri his managing seat. The punters  had the same idea in several weeks about the Fiorentina-AS Roma (2-2), Lecce-Cagliari (3-3) and Genoa-Lecce (4-2) games.

Marco Pirani, the Sirolo-based dentist who is regarded as a key figure in the match-fixing scam, will have to face questions about these games when he is interviewed again by public prosecutor Roberto Di Martino.

Italy Betting Scandal : How many Serie A Teams are involved ?

Serie A clubs involved in the scandal have emerged from investigations but crucially so have the matches said to have been mentioned during the first interviews a few days ago. Marco Pirani named names to investigating magistrate Guido Salvini last Friday. Sources close to the investigation confirm the clubs, and the matches involved, but point out that the dentist with a weakness for football betting was speaking without notes, as it were, making general references to other Serie B clubs, including Modena and AlbinoLeffe, and reporting events of which he had no direct knowledge.

Pirani is thought to have said that there were insistent rumours in betting circles that the results of the four matches had been decided in advance and in fact there was a rush to place “over” bets on the number of goals scored.

The clubs reject the charges. AS Roma chair Rosella Sensi said: “Roma is a serious club. I am confounded at what I have been reading recently”. In a media release, Fiorentina declared that the club has nothing to do with any suspicion of wrongdoing.

Yesterday, the prosecution case was strengthened by statements from two other suspects, Ascoli players Vittorio Micolucci and Vincenzo Sommese, both are now under house arrest. “My client is a man whose only concern is the good of his team and his family”, said Mr Micolucci’s lawyer Daniela Pigotti before the interview with investigating magistrate Salvini. Mr Micolucci, however, gave a less pristine account to the magistrate: “I was getting pressure from my teammate Sommese, who wanted me to fix games, especially the one against Atalanta.

I let him think I was up for it but on the field I concentrated on winning”. The magistrate asked: “But if your side had lost against Atalanta, would you have received the money promised by the punters?” The answer was in the affirmative.

Ascoli player Vincenzo Sommese told the magistrate a kibosh tale. He had been left out of the Ascoli squad, he had a mortgage and he owed €80,000 to Mr Pirani, who had also obtained a withholding order for a fifth of his wages. Sommese’s only way out of a desperate financial and personal situation seemed to be to put himself at the disposal of the match-riggers.

Yesterday, the Austrian Skysport 365 sports betting agency confirmed that it is preparing a report on a series of ten matches that attracted a suspiciously high volume of bets. The list is believed to include Serie A teams AS Roma, Lecce, Cagliari, Lazio, Napoli and Bologna. Skysport 365 is thought to be willing to collaborate with the sports fraud task force that the Italian football association, Federcalcio, hopes will be formed.

The report will be forwarded to the Cremona public prosecutor’s office and also to Naples, where other magistrates are investigating football betting. Today, Naples-based public prosecutors will be in Rome investigating the inquiries while the other prosecutors have opened a case file for match fixing scandal into sports fraud which is still in its early stages. No suspects have yet been named.

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