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Italy’s Izzo sentenced to five years for match-fixing

Italy defender Armando Izzo was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday after being found guilty of assisting an organised crime group from Naples to fix a match.

Izzo, who currently plays for Monza in Serie A, will be able to appeal the sentence which is not considered definitive in the Italian judical system. 

He was ruled to have helped fix the Serie B match between Modena and his then team Avellino in the 2013-14 season with two other players, according to Italian news agencies.

The 31-year-old, who has played three times for Italy, was found guilty by a court in Naples of collusion with the Camorra, the city’s mafia organisation, and sporting fraud for accepting money to help alter the result of the match.

His cousin Umberto Accurso, believed to be a member of a Camorra clan from the Secondigliano area of Naples, was sentenced to 18 months, as was another alleged member of the same group.

Monza, owned by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, said they believed their player was innocent.

“Monza expresses its complete support of Armando, convinced of his non-involvement in criminal activity,” the club said in a statement.

“His lawyers are disappointed with the sentence and, after receiving and reading the court’s reasoning, will present an appeal.”

Izzo has played 26 times this season for Monza, helping the club attain Serie A safety with six matches left in their first-ever season in Italy’s top flight.

He was banned from football for 18 months — later reduced to six — and fined 50,000 euros ($59,000) in April 2017 for failing to report match-fixing while at Avellino.

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