Nine former Bari players in match-fixing probe

Rome: Former Bari defender Andrea Masiello, now playing for Atalanta, was arrested on Monday in connection with alleged match-fixing in Serie A last season, the Italian federation (FIGC) said on Monday.

Eight of Masiello`s team mates from Bari last season were also being investigated by police over the possible manipulation of matches, the FIGC added.

"Around one dozen people are under investigation and nine of these are ex players of the red and white team, involved in the alleged fixing of nine matches in last season`s Serie A championship," FIGC said in a the statement.

The FIGC added that other people had also been arrested by police in the southern city of Bari, although it did not specify who.

Italian media said the allegations centre on a match between Serie A clubs Bari and Lecce in May last year which Bari, now in the Italian Serie B second division competition, lost 0-2 with Masiello scoring an own goal in the 80th minute.

Bari had already been relegated by the time that match was played.

Bari`s sporting director Guido Angelozzi said the club had nothing to do with any manipulation of the result.

"We thought it was a normal match," he told SkyTG24 television. "The club is a damaged party in this. It gained no advantage from this at all."

In June last year, the Interior Ministry set up a special match-fixing task force in response to a number of high profile cases.

Former Atalanta captain and Italy midfielder Cristiano Doni, was banned for three-and-a-half years in August for his part in the `Calcioscommesse` match-fixing scandal involving Serie B matches last season.

Atalanta, promoted from Serie B, were deducted six points in the top flight this season as a result of the scandal.

Former Lazio and Italy striker Giuseppe Signori was banned for five years and 15 other players were banned for between one and five years for their part in the same scandal

Bureau Report