Serie A club Reggina indicted in match-fixing scandal

August 8, 2006

ROME -- Serie A club Reggina has been indicted on match-fixing charges in a widening corruption scandal that has already resulted in penalties or relegation for four of Italy's top soccer clubs.

Italian soccer federation prosecutor Stefano Palazzi on Monday ordered Reggina to face a sports tribunal, setting the club on the same path that last month brought demotion for Turin-based powerhouse Juventus and point penalties for AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina.

Reggina finished 15th in Serie A last season. The trial is set to begin Aug. 13.

Reggina president Lillo Foti was also indicted, amid accusations that he tried to have friendly referees assigned to the team's games.

Charges were also brought against referees Tiziano Pieri and Paolo Dondarini -- who was acquitted by the appeals court examining the allegations against the clubs initially involved.

In the July 25 ruling, Juventus was stripped of its last two Serie A titles and relegated to Serie B with a 17-point penalty for next season.

Fiorentina and Lazio start next season banned from European competition and minus 19 and 11 points respectively. Milan was allowed to play in the Champions League, but was docked eight points.

Juventus has appealed its sanctions to the Italian Olympic Committee's arbitration court -- the highest body in its judicial system -- and Fiorentina and Lazio are expected to do the same.

The three clubs have threatened to go to Italy's civil courts if they are unsuccessful.

Italy's soccer season has already been delayed by two weeks due to fallout from the scandal. Serie A and B are scheduled to start the weekend of Sept. 9-10.

Prosecutors in Naples, Rome, Parma and Turin are also conducting separate criminal probes into sports fraud, illegal betting and false bookkeeping -- but any indictments could take months.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press