Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Reggina face match-fixing trial

Reggina have become the fifth club ordered to stand trial over allegations of sporting fraud. The Italian Football Federation's (FIGC) prosecutor Stefano Palazzi has taken the step after consulting a report compiled by chief investigator Francesco Saverio Borelli and his team.

The move comes after reports of telephone conversations of Reggina president, Lillo Foti (pictured), were tapped. Palazzi will argue that the southern minnows violated article one and article six of the game’s sporting rules during the 2004-05 campaign. It’s understood that the Reggina probe centred around six games which were against Brescia [lost 1-3], Cagliari [won 3-2], Palermo [won 1-0], Udinese [won 2-0], Sampdoria [lost 3-2] and Palermo [drew 1-1]. Foti, along with former refereeing designator Paolo Bergamo and referees Pieri and Paolo Dondarini were also charged.

Foti insists there are no valid reasons which led to indict his club for sporting fraud. He denied any wrongdoing and maintains that his club always followed the rules. “The indictment is exaggerated, I think there is malice in it. I’m not basing my thoughts on suspicions, but on the facts and the truth. The results of the 2004-05 season are there for everybody to see, the indictment is a severe punishment. I feel the prosecutor’s decision was malicious towards my club and myself. Reggina must now present themselves in front of the Federal Appeal Court on August 13 and will face a trial we do not deserve. The charge also relates to matches that Reggina lost and that doesn’t make much sense. We have always followed the rules and behaved correctly, but no respect has been shown towards us.”

Reggina will be informed of their proposed sentence next week, if found guilty, Palazzi will reveal his punishment requests for the southern minnows who now risk demotion to Serie B.

Juventus, AC Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio have already been punished for their part in the scandal. Juve were stripped of the Serie A title won for the past two seasons, demoted to Serie B and docked points for their role in the scandal. Fiorentina and Lazio were originally relegated, only to be reinstated to the top flight upon appeal, while Milan had points deducted.

View the document in full (Italian) >>>


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