FC Catania rocked by match-fixing scandal

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Catania fans sitting in the 'curva nord'. Photo:Roberto68
10:14 CEST+02:00
Police have arrested seven people in an investigation into match-fixing at FC Catania. The men are accused of fixing matches in order to keep the club in Serie B.

The arrests came as bad news for fans of Gli Elefanti, who saw three high-ranking men with close ties to their club arrested

Club President Antonio Pulvirenti, Vice President, Pablo Consentino and ex-sporting director Daniele Delli Carri, were all placed under house arrest on Monday, along with four other men. These included two sporting agents and two managers of online betting sites.

Italian football finds itself mired in yet another scandal and the invisible hand of the mafia is always a possibility, especially when dealing with fraud in Sicily. The investigation, nicknamed "the goal train" is being coordinated by the anti-mafia investigative agency of Catania La Repubblica reported.

"At least five games, maybe six were fixed and sums of money given to players," Catania's public prosecutor, Giovanni Salvi, told AFP.

Further searches are being carried out in Rome, Chieti, Campobasso and Catania. At present, no members from any sporting association other than FC Catania are being investigated.

FC Catania finished the 2014-2015 season in 15th place in Serie B, just five points above the automatic relegation zone and two points above Modena and Virtus Entella who occupied the relegation play-off spots.

Among the games that were allegedly fixed include three games from an impressive five-match winning streak between March and April that helped lift the Sicilian side away from the danger zone.

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This is just the latest in a long line of match-fixing scandals in Italy. Just this May, 50 people were arrested  following an investigation into match-fixing in Italy's third and fourth divisions.

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