July 24 – Italy’s Parma, promoted back into Serie A at the end of last season, will keep their place in the top tier but will start the season five points behind their rivals after striker Emanuele Calaiò was ruled guilty of attempting to fix Parma’s final match of the season against Spezia.
Calaiò has been banned for two years and fined €20,000 (£17,800).
Parma won their final game of the season 2-0 against Spezia, completing a run of three successive promotions, the first Italian team in history to do so, and returning to Serie A three years after bankruptcy sent them to the bottom tier of Italian professional soccer.
Calaiò, who Parma signed from Spezia in 2016, sent four Whatsapp messages to former Spezia team mate, defender Filippo De Col. “Hey Pippein [De Col] you better not give me a hard time Friday my friend,” he messaged. “Tell that too Claudiein [Terzi] too”, and “Especially with the relationship you have with me.”
When he failed to get a reply he messaged: “However Pippein be calm I was joking anyways for me it’s the same after all I’ll retire in a bit.”
Parma say they have done nothing wrong and that they will appeal the sanction. A club statement said: “We consider the condemnation of our employee Emanuele Calaiò to be abnormal in respect to the facts that led to his referral and the inquiry, and the very heavy penalty inflicted on our club for objective responsibility illogical and in contrast with recent sporting judgments.
“We trust that the complete lack of connection of Parma to any unlawful behaviour will be recognised by the federal court of appeal, to which we will resort in a short matter of time, in the hope of finding justice.”
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