Italian police swoop in Naples to arrest 10 in match-fixing probe

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May 24 – Efforts to crack down on match-fixing in Italy have been stepped up with the arrest in Naples of 10 people who, according to the authorities, conspired to alter the results of two matches in Serie B in 2014.

The detainees apparently fixed the outcome of the Modena-Avellino match in March and Avellino-Reggina in May.

Investigators reportedly intercepted a telephone conversation between members of a mafia group in which there was talk of having to “eat three meatballs” referring to the three goals that were to be scored in the Avellino-Reggina match, which eventually ended 3-0.

The games in question are reported to have been manipulated for betting purposes with the mafia group reaping the rewards. Genoa’s Armando Izzo, initially considered for Italy’s squad for Euro 2016 but later omitted, is also reported to be among the list of suspects the authorities would like to speak to. He was captain of Avellino at the time the two games took place.

According to investigators, the group earned €170,000 from bets totalling €800,000 on the matches, with smaller sums paid to players of Avellino for their help in obtaining the desired result.

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