50 arrested in mafia match-fixing scandal
ROME – More than 50 people have been arrested on Tuesday and another 70 are under investigation, as part of a probe into alleged match-fixing, in the third and fourth divisions of Italian football. A number of those arrested have links with mafia organisations with one individual connected to the Calabrian-based ‘Ndrangheta mafia, reported La Stampa.
A total of 33 clubs including Brindisi, Sorrento and San Severo have been implicated in the investigation, which involves “dozens” of fixtures and footballers, managers and club presidents, according to police sources. Anti mafia prosecutors in the southern town of Cantazaro have ordered the arrests on charges of criminal association aimed at sports fraud.
This latest match-fixing scandal to hit Italian football comes not long after a number of Italy’s top clubs were connected with a criminal organisation known as the “Zingari.” Following the 2011 probe, the then Lazio vice-captain, Stefano Mauri was removed from Italy’s Euro 2012 squad and banned for six months and the current Italy manager Antonio Conte was banned from management for four months, following charges of failing to report attempted match-fixing.