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Italian club Napoli facing match-fixing probe

updated 1:50 PM EDT, Fri October 26, 2012
Napoli defender Paolo Cannavaro has been accused of failing to report an approach made to him about match-fixing
Napoli defender Paolo Cannavaro has been accused of failing to report an approach made to him about match-fixing
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Italian Football Federation announces a probe into match-fixing claims against Napoli
  • High-flying club to face disciplinary proceedings over a match against Sampdoria in 2010
  • Former Napoli goalkeeper Matteo Gianello accused of attempting to alter outcome
  • Gianluca Grava and Paolo Cannavaro charged for not reporting approcahes

(CNN) -- Italian soccer side Napoli are facing disciplinary proceedings after the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) confirmed they are investigating match-fixing claims against the club.

Napoli, who currently sit second in Serie A, are under the microscope after their former goalkeeper Matteo Gianello was accused of attempting to fix the outcome of a match with Sampdoria in the last match of the 2009/10 season.

Sampdoria won the match 1-0, a result that helped them secure fourth place in the league and qualification to the potentially lucrative European Champions League playoffs.

As well as Gianello, defenders Gianluca Grava and Paolo Cannavaro are accused of failing to report to the league an approach made to them to perform similar activities.

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A statement on the FIGC's official website read: "The FIGC can confirm that, following an investigation by the public prosecutor of Naples, the federal prosecutor will open disciplinary proceedings in relation to the Sampdoria-Napoli match of May 16, 2010.

"Matteo Gianello, Napoli's former player, and Silvio Giusti, Napoli's former coach, are accused of violating Article 7 (sections 1, 2 and 5) of the sporting code of justice.

"Between them, they are accused of attempting to alter the outcome of the match to secure a victory for Sampdoria in exchange for money.

"(They are) also accused of having approached colleagues Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava, from whom they received a refusal.

"But Cannavaro and Grava stand accused of violating Article 7 (section 7), in failing to disclose the approach to the federal prosecutor."

Gianello spent seven years at Napoli before leaving the club in 2011. He is currently a free agent. Cannavaro is the club's captain while Grava is still on their books.

Italian football journalist Tancredi Palmeri told CNN World Sport that Napoli could face a points deduction if they are found guilty.

He also said Napoli's lawyer had reacted with indignation to the accusations, claiming they were also the victim.

This is the latest twist in a long running investigation into alleged match-fixing in Italian football.

The most high-profile sanction to date has been the 10-month suspension handed to Juventus coach Antonio Conte for his failure to report match-fixing when he was manager of Siena.

Siena accepted a six-point deduction relating to the same charge while a host of clubs from Italy's top two divisions were hit with points penalties, fines and even demotions in some cases.

Andrea Masiello, the former Bari defender, was handed a 22-month suspended prison sentence after admitting scoring an own goal during a league match.

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