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Napoli hit with latest match-fixing allegations

Serie A club Napoli have been charged by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in the latest dramatic development in the country’s long-running match-fixing saga.

The charges refer to the final day of the 2009-2010 season when Napoli were beaten 1-0 by Sampdoria who thereby finished in fourth spot and qualified for the preliminary stage of the Champions League.

Goalkeeper Matteo Gianello (pictured below) and former midfielder Silvio Giusti have also been charged along with two current players: Napoli captain Paolo Cannavaro (pictured top), younger brother of Italy’s FIFA World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro, and Gianluca Grava, both of whom allegedly failed to report the corruption.

The new allegations heap further embarrassment on the Italian game that has already led to several high-profile arrests.

Juventus coach Antonio Conte is serving the final few weeks of a 10-month touchline ban – later reduced to six months – for not reporting match-fixing while he was boss of Siena.

Former Bari defender Andrea Masiello (pictured below) was given a 22-month suspended prison sentence after admitting scoring an own goal, while Verona’s Emanuele Pesoli was given a three-year ban following a probe into activities while he was at Siena.

As well as being hit with the latest match-fixing allegations, Napoli are also being sanctioned by UEFA over their Europa League game with Swedish club Allmänna Idrottsklubben (AIK) in September.

They have been punished “for the inappropriate conduct of their supporters, insufficient organisation in the stadium and non-respect of UEFA directives related to stadium security” at the game.

Twenty four hours before the game, two Swedish fans were stabbed during a confrontation with a gang of Napoli supporters wielding bats and knives.

UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Body has barred the club from selling tickets for several sections of their stadium, including the disabled section, for their next European fixture with Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk on November 8.

Napoli must show UEFA photographic evidence by November 6 that the required stadium work has been at least partially been carried out.

“Furthermore, the Control and Disciplinary Body ordered Napoli to play one UEFA competition game behind closed doors, subject to a probationary period of five years.

“The Italian club have also been fined €150,000 (£121,000/$194,000),” a UEFA statement said.

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