Soccer

Lazio's Mauri banned for six months in match-fixing scandal

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The Canadian Press
8/2/2013 9:51:20 AM
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ROME -- Lazio captain Stefano Mauri was banned for six months by the Italian football federation on Friday for his part in a match-fixing scandal.

Mauri was one of eight players accused of rigging the Serie A games between Lazio-Genoa and Lecce-Lazio in May 2011 and for failing to report match-fixing. He was found guilty for his role in the Lecce match but cleared of anything untoward against Genoa.

Prosecutor Stefano Palazzi had asked for a 4 1/2-year suspension but Mauri was found guilty only of failing to report match-fixing.

Mauri said he will appeal his ban.

Palazzi also wanted Lazio to be docked six points, and Genoa and Lecce three points each. However, the federation fined Lazio 40,000 euros ($53,000) and Lecce 20,000 euros ($26,000) because of their players' actions. Genoa was cleared.

"I'm happy that my Lazio does not have to start with a points penalty, but even this sentence for failing to report match-fixing seems unjust to me," Mauri said. "I'm trusting in the next level of the justice system to let me put this awful episode behind me.

"I'll fight as a captain in this situation, too. My aim is to go out onto the pitch with my teammates as soon as possible."

Alessandro Zamperini, who was already banned for five years, received a further two-year suspension.

Stefano Ferrario was handed a six-month ban, Mario Cassano was suspended for four months and Carlo Gervasoni received a two-month penalty.

Omar Milanetto, Massimiliano Benassi and Antonio Rosati were cleared.

At least 50 people have been arrested in Italy for match-fixing since mid-2011, with matches under investigation by prosecutors in Cremona, Bari and Naples.

Last month, Serie B club Bari plea-bargained for a one-point penalty for match-fixing.

Bari was also fined $32,000 under the deal made with the Italian federation's disciplinary committee for arranging two matches, while several former players also reached plea bargains.

This marks the third consecutive off-season that point penalties have been handed out by the federation. Four Serie A clubs were penalized last season.

Stefano Mauri (Photo: Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
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