NEWS
Friday August 3 2012
Palazzi explains betting charges

FIGC prosecutor Stefano Palazzi outlined his case in the betting trial against Leonardo Bonucci, Simone Pepe and others over Udinese-Bari, Bologna-Bari, Bari-Lecce and Bari-Sampdoria.

This evening Palazzi requested a series of bans, including three years and six months for ex-Bari defender Bonucci, one year for Pepe due to his time at Udinese, Bologna to be docked two points and for Lecce to be demoted to Lega Pro.

With regards to the Udinese-Bari Serie A match in 2010-11, Palazzi explained gambler “De Tullio took part of the winning money from the bet after the game. Andrea Masiello testified about De Tullio’s proposal, negotiations based in the world of illegal gambling aimed at corrupting players.

“Obviously at first those involved try to blame others for the proposed fix. Masiello claims the initial offer came from De Tullio, then that he told Bonucci, Alessandro Parisi, Nicola Belmonte and Salvatore Masiello. According to Andrea Masiello, they were all willing to listen.

“Simply being willing to listen is already sporting fraud. Masiello’s proposal is further developed because he says Salvatore Masiello called Pepe, as they used to play together. We know they had a telephone conversation.

“The confirmation can also be found by the fact Belmonte and Parisi were mentioned with regards to other games. De Tullio said he called Stellini to confirm the match had been fixed.

“Bonucci claims Masiello’s statements were contradictory. We consider them to be progressive enriching of the statements. Masiello collaborated fully with the authorities.

“As for the contradiction in the timing of this agreement, seeing as Bonucci was in the Nazionale, Masiello added the deal was struck on the team bus.”

Palazzi moved on to the Bologna-Bari match, also in Serie A, which sees Daniele Portanova face a three-year ban for sporting fraud and the Rossoblu potentially docked two points. Marco Di Vaio, now at Montreal Impact, risks a one-year ban for failing to report a fix to authorities.

“There was contact between Masiello and Portanova, the proposal made by Carella and Giacobbe, then the conduct of Portanova in engaging in negotiations over this proposed sporting fraud.

“Neither side had any interest in getting results for the table, as Bologna were safe and Bari already relegated.

“Portanova had a second meeting with them to conclude the sporting fraud, but first he had to ask captain Di Vaio. Once Di Vaio said no to the fix, Portanova re-called them to say the fix was off.”

The biggest scandal is around Bari-Lecce, particularly as this is a local derby and so means a great deal to the fans.

“On this game we have the converging testimonies of Andrea Masiello, Giacobbe and Carella. Carella offered €300,000, Quarta went off to talk to someone that Carella recognised to be Lecce President Rico Semeraro, then came back and handed them a cheque as ‘guarantee’ for the €300,000.

“Around 10 days after the match, Quarta handed €70,000 to Carella, then another cheque worth €80,000. To discuss the transaction of the final cash sum, there was a meeting at the Hotel Tiziano in which Masiello confirmed he scored an own goal on purpose. The financial records confirm these transactions.

“Semeraro’s presence cannot be considered coincidental. Vives is accused of participating in the fix and not reporting it to authorities. He was pin-pointed as the Lecce player who had to give the signal of the fix. Whether it happened or not is irrelevant, as he still participated in the proposed fix. Whether it was a pat on the shoulder or an exchange of jerseys doesn’t matter.”

The final match involved in today’s betting scandal accusations is Bari-Sampdoria.

“There was a double attempt, the first perpetrated by the so-called group of ‘Zingari’, but everyone except Bentivoglio took plea bargains on this.

“A second attempt saw Stefano Guberti offer money to Masiello. Masiello spoke to Marco Rossi and not to others, because he was blocked by Mutti. Rossi confirmed Guberti made two attempts to contact him.”

The judges are expected to make a ruling at the end of next week.

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!

FOOTBALL ITALIA RELATED NEWS

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES