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Napoli on trial for match-fixing after Gianello confession

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Associated Press
12/10/2012 12:26:42 PM
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ROME -- Napoli went on trial for match-fixing Monday and could be docked points after its former goalkeeper confessed to arranging the result of a game three seasons ago.

The 'keeper, Matteo Gianello, confessed to prosecutors that he attempted to fix the match between Sampdoria and Napoli on May 16, 2010.

Sampdoria won the match 1-0 with a goal from current AC Milan player Giampaolo Pazzini in the 51st minute. It was the final round of the season and the victory secured Sampdoria fourth place and a spot in Champions League qualifying.

Current Napoli captain Paolo Cannavaro and defender Gianluca Grava were also on trial in front of the Italian football federation's disciplinary committee for allegedly failing to report the fix. Both players, along with Napoli, deny any wrongdoing.

Cannavaro is the younger brother of former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro.

Federation prosecutor Stefano Palazzi requested a one-point penalty for Napoli and a C100,000 ($129,300) fine for the club, a 39-month ban for Gianello and nine-month suspensions for Cannavaro and Grava.

Sentences were expected later in the week.

Several others were also on trial for alleged fixing in the lower-division Portogruaro-Crotone match in May 2011.

Napoli is currently third in Serie A, five points behind leader Juventus.

Four Serie A clubs have already been docked points this season for fixing. Siena was penalized six points, Atalanta two, and Sampdoria and Torino one each.

Juventus coach Antonio Conte returned Sunday from his four-month ban for failing to report fixing when he managed Siena two seasons ago.

The federation's justice system provides two levels of sentences: the disciplinary committee's initial verdict and an appeal. Sentences can then be appealed to a national sports arbitration court, which has the final word.

At least 50 people have been arrested in Italy for match-fixing since the middle of last year, with scores more under investigation by prosecutors in Cremona, Bari and Naples.

Napoli Celebrates (Photo: Massimo Cebrelli/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Massimo Cebrelli/Getty Images)
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