Napoli to Appeal Match Fix Penalty

Article excerpt

NAPOLI are preparing an appeal for "true justice" after being handed a two-point deduction for their alleged involvement in match-fixing by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).

The Azzurri have slumped to fifth place in the Serie A table, 10 points shy of league leaders and reigning champions Juventus, after the FIGC ruled the club "objectively responsible" for the actions of their former player Matteo Gianello, who confessed to attempting to fix a match between Napoli and Sampdoria in 2010.

The two players he allegedly approached, Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava, have been suspended for six months for failing to report Gianello's actions.

The ex-Napoli goalkeeper has been banned from the game for 39 months.

Napoli, who were also fined [euro]70,000, were slow to react to the news but a statement later appeared on the club's official website denying any wrongdoing and objecting to the timing of the punishment, without confirming having lodged an appeal with the FIGC's justice court.

It read: "The president Aurelio de Laurentiis, the head coach Walter Mazzarri and the whole team are calm, being confident no violation could be attributed to Napoli.

"While not entering into the obsolete and outdated principle of objective responsibility, and reserving any comments on legal action for the appropriate forums, Napoli does not agree with the decisions of the National Disciplinary Committee, considering they should not be able to irretrievably alter championships which are already in progress. …