Italy: 10 Arrested in Football Match Fixing Probe

Authorities placed seven in custody and another three under house arrest for allegedly fixing two matches in Italy’s second highest football division, according to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Screen_Shot_2016-05-26_at_3.12.15_PM_copy_copy_copy_copy.png(Photo Credit: Flickr)The suspects were affiliated with a Camorra group known as the Vanella Grassi. The Camorra is one of the oldest and largest organized crime groups in Italy. Based in Naples, it consists of multiple clans of independent groups.

The suspects allegedly influenced two matches in Italy’s Serie B back in 2014. One of the matches was Avellino’s 3-0 win over Reggina and another was Modena’s 1-0 win over Avellino, ESPNFC wrote. Genoa defender Armando Izzo and footballer Francesco Millesi are said to be suspects in the case, La Gazzetta dello Sport reported.

The scheme allegedly included the suspects paying money to players in order to make money from bets on the matches. Investigators said that the group made around €170,000 (US$ 190,000) from bets that totaled €800,000 (US$ 894,000), ESPNFC said.

Match-fixing within Italian soccer has been widespread. Italian media recently reported that evidence of suspicious betting across five matches in the top-flight Serie A has been prepared. Bookmakers said that the bets on big losses by Frosinone were higher than expected, saying that in-game bets reached a peak just moments before the club scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Verona, ESPNFC reported.

The Guardian reported that Italy’s coach for the UEFA Euro 2016 Championship was acquitted last week after a judge said that allegations of fraud against him were baseless.

Antonio Conte, who was appointed manager of English Premier League club Chelsea in April, was accused of failing to prevent match-fixing when he was manager of Siena. He had already served a ban imposed by the Italian football federation, but a prosecutor was seeking a suspended jail sentence and a fine in connection with the case.

ESPN UK wrote that prosecutor Roberto Di Martino said that betting on games was on the rise again. He warned that “the cancer has not been eliminated,” adding that he did not imagine the extent to which games were manipulated.