Italian defender sentenced for own goal
NEWS ROUND-UP:FORMER BARI defender Andrea Masiello was given a suspended 22-month prison sentence on Wednesday after admitting he deliberately scored an own goal to help local rivals Lecce avoid relegation from Serie A in May last year.
The 26-year-old, who is without a club, saved himself from an immediate custodial sentence after negotiating a plea-bargain arrangement at a magistrates court in Bari.
His associates in the scam Gianni Carella and Fabio Giacobbe, who bet on a number of fixed matches, were handed suspended sentences of 17 months.
Bari had already been relegated when they met Lecce, who were still fighting to avoid the drop to Serie B, and his suspicious own goal 10 minutes from time guaranteed them a 2-0 win.
Lecce were subsequently demoted for their involvement in the latest match-fixing scandal to engulf Italian soccer.
The “Calcio scommesse” (football bet) scandal also trapped Juventus manager Antonio Conte in its web and he is now serving a 10-month suspension from soccer.
Baris last four matches of the 2010-11 season against Palermo, Sampdoria, Lecce and Bologna were investigated, with matches against Treviso and Salernitana still the subject of examination.
The case is the first major match-fixing scandal in Italy since the Calciopoli scandal of 2006 when Juventus were stripped of two titles and relegated for their involvement in it.
Preston chairman Peter Ridsdale has been banned from holding any company directorships for seven and a half years following an investigation into financial irregularities by the British Insolvency Service.
The ruling relates to payments totalling £347,000 (€432,000) made by Cardiff to Ridsdale between May 2007 and March 2009 during his spell as chairman. The money should have been directed to the 60-year-old’s WH Sports Group (WHSG) consultancy service.
WHSG was liquidated in April 2009 with liabilities of £478,698, including significant tax debts of £442,353 owed to HM Revenue and Customs. Ridsdale’s wife Sophie served as a co-director a WHSG and has been banned until April 2016.
Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez was fined £10,000 (€12,460) by the FA for comments he made after his side’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester United last month.
Martinez was also warned about his future conduct after admitting a charge of misconduct in a personal hearing.
Martinez was unhappy with referee Michael Oliver’s performance and told the BBC after his side’s defeat at Old Trafford: “In the last two games here we have had three sendings off, and today I knew. When you come to places like this you need a strong referee.
“And the first decision – the penalty, it sets you back a lot.”