Andrea Masiello Must Account for Own Goal, Italian Soccer Player Arrested for Match Fixing (Video)


April 2, 2012

Andrea Masiello Must Account for Own Goal, Italian Soccer Player Arrested for Match Fixing (Video)Most hard-core fans of the beautiful game have never heard of Andrea Masiello. Until now, that is.

Masiello was arrested on Monday. The Atalanta Bergamo defender has been implicated in a match-fixing scandal that has rocked the Italian game. He will be charged with criminal association and fraud, according to the Telegraph.

Masiello becomes the first current player to be implicated in the scandal. More than 30 people have been arrested since June, including former Italy internationals Critiano Doni and Giuseppe Signori.

The allegations against Masiello stem from his days as a player for AS Bari in Italy’s Serie A. The 26-year-old is accused of helping throw games in exchange for money.

The last nine games Bari played in the 2010-11 season are under suspicion, including a 2-0 derby loss to Lecce during which Masiello scored an own goal. Bari had already been relegated, and the victory allowed Lecce to remain in Serie A.

“Several Bari footballers at the end of the 2010-11 season were more or less ‘on the market,’ not in the footballing sense of the term, normally referring to the buying and selling of players in the summer, but in the lesser meaning of the expression,” Bari judge Giovanni Abbattista said. “Some of the beloved of the stadio San Nicola’s Curva Nord were ready to make mercenaries of their own sporting displays for the best offer in order to get money.”

Media reports claim eight other players are under investigation and could face charges. They are: Daniele Portanova, Alessandro Parisi, Simone Bentivoglio, Marco Rossi, Abdelkader Ghezzal, Marco Esposito, Antonio Bellavista and Nicola Belmonte.

Italian soccer authorities are promising swift action against anyone who is found guilty of crimes. Prosecutors expect to file criminal charges by the end of April.

“There will be zero tolerance and swift action by the sporting justice to clean up and pinpoint all those responsible,” Italian football federation president Giancarlo Abete said.

Watch the video below to see the own goal Andrea Masiello scored for Lecce (at :50 mark).

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