Napoli docked two points, two players handed six-month bans

Maurizio Lagana

The FIGC came down hard on Napoli today docking the club points, issuing a fine and suspending two players for six-months as part of an on-going match fixing investigation. The team will appeal.

The FIGC disciplinary commission announced Tuesday morning that Napoli have been docked two points and find €70,000 as part of the on-going match fixing investigation. In addition two players, team captain Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava, have been suspended for six months.

Their involvement in the scandal stems from allegations that former goalkeeper Matteo Gianello attempted to fix a match against Sampdoria in May 2010. Gianello says he approached the duo to help assist him in securing a result. Both players are believed to have refused to participate but they've been charged with failing to report the attempted match fixing.

Juventus coach Antonio Conte recently returned from a suspension for the same reason.

It's already been a bad couple of weeks for Napoli having lost their last two Serie A matches. The loss of two more points will drop them to sixth place in the league, damaging their already slim title hopes. The club has announced they will appeal both the rulings again the team and the two players.

Napoli posted the following on the club website:

"The president Aurelio de Laurentiis, the head coach Walter Mazzarri and the whole team are calm, being confident that no violation could be attributed to Napoli."

"While not entering into the obsolete and outdated principle of objective responsibility, and reserving any comments on legal action for the appropriate forums, Napoli does not agree with the decisions of the National Disciplinary Committee, considering that they should not be able to irretrievably alter championships that are already in progress.

"Any decision must be made before the start of a tournament or at the end of it. There has been enough time to evaluate and make a decision since the 2009-10 season.

"We are confident that true justice can be applied to the separate decisions, based on law and equity, not on Justicialism (a theory of government involving government intervention)."

In an interview on Radio 24 Mattia Grassani, a legal representative for the team, said Napoli has no liability for the situation. He explain that Gianello did not play a single minute for the 2009-10 season and yet the club has been punished for failing to supervise the player. Grassani also spoke of the club seeking compensation for financial losses suffered and damages to their image as a result of the charges

There is no timeline for the appeals at the moment.

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