Serie B Match-Fixing Scandal Spreads Further With Allegations Of Top-Flight Teams' Involvement

Top-flight side Chievo have been implicated as the 'Serie B' match-fixing scandal worsens.

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Atalanta Set To Receive Seven-Point Deduction For Role In Serie B Match Fixing Scandal

Atalanta, newly promoted into Serie A, may now face an even greater battle to stay out of the relegation zone: The FIGC have handed down a seven-point deduction for their role in the latest Italian match-fixing scandal. Eighteen clubs have been implicated in the mess, from across the divisions. Chievo Verona, who had a minor role, are the only other Serie A side to face sanctions, but no points will be knocked from the Flying Donkeys. Instead, they will pay a €80,000 fine, while their city rivals, Hellas Verona, in Serie B, will pay €50,000. The worst punishment may be handed to Ravenna, who could see expulsion from the league.

La Dea already have a bit of a yo-yo problem, so this point deduction just might be more than they can bear. Plus, they'll likely lose their captain, Cristiano Doni, to a three and a half year suspension, due to his role in the scandal. Atalanta might try crossing their fingers and hoping for a Sampdoria-esqe implosion from one of the Serie A stalwarts -- or hope that further investigations turn up dirt on someone else.

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Chievo, Atalanta Allegedly Involved In Italian Match-Fixing Scandal

The Serie B match-fixing scandal which broke last month apparently had a wider reach than initially believed, with Serie A team Chievo now embroiled in suspicion, according to Football Italia. The two top-flight side joins sixteen other sides in the Serie B and below, as well as recently-promoted Atalanta, in being referred to a FIGC disciplinary panel that will quiz them in their supposed involvement with the fiasco.

Being involved in match-fixing (and getting caught, of course) is a dangerous business. If the allegations that Atalanta or Chievo were part of a rigging scheme prove founded, they could well see the hammer dropped on them by the FIGC. A major points deduction and the near-certain relegation that would go with it certainly isn't out of the question, but the risks are known to any club or player who participates in match-fixing, and yet it continues to happen across Europe. The only reason the Italy issue hasn't gotten more attention is because until now no Serie A side had been implicated and because Turkey's own scandal has been far more catastrophic. But make no mistake - this is not good at all.

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Spiking Drinks Part Of Betting Scandal: Cremonese Players Allegedly Drugged

Because allegations of simple match fixing were just not sexy enough for Italian football, they had to go and throw spiked drinks into the mix. That's right, along with accusing Beppe Signori and fifteen others of being involved in a betting scandal, much of which centers around Serie B, prosecutors have also alleged that players from Lega Pro club Cremonese had their drinks spiked.

However, this match-fixing appears to not have gone terribly well. In addition to Inter Milan not managing to beat Lecce by three goals, Cremonese beat Paganese 2-0, despite allegedly having sleeping drugs added to their beverages. Then again, Paganese were relegated, so it probably didn't take all that much to beat them. Cremonese, apparently, could do it with one eye shut.

While the drugged drinks are certainly an intriguing part of this scandal, the clubs to keep an eye on are Siena and Atalanta. Both clubs earned promotion to Serie A this season, and both clubs were allegedly involved in fixed matches.

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16 Arrested In Serie B Match-Fixing Scandal

You'd have thought that Italy were going to put the fixing matches sort of thing behind them, but turns out no. No they're not. Sixteen people, including some current Serie B players and former Italy international Giuseppe Signori, have been arrested in Italy over suspicions of being involved in yet another match-fixing scandal.

The Italian police mounted a major six-month-long operation to draw out and then arrest the sixteen, who have been described as part of an organised criminal gang where each had their own tasks and roles. Several matches have been implicated, including those involving newly-promoted Atalanta and Siena - an investigation into those games could have a major impact on the shape of Italian football in 2011/12. For now, seven of the sixteen remain in jail while Signori and eight others are under house arrest.

There are unnerving reports that the gang may have attempted to push their alleged activities into Serie A, but failed to successfully fix the March 20th match between Inter Milan and Lecce despite reportedly offering Lecce players money to allow Inter to win by at least three goals (Inter did win, but the score was 1-0). Although as far as anyone can tell, the top division was untouched, this still represents a major black eye for Italian football.

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