Atlanta to Fight Six-point Deduction

August 22, 2011

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Atalanta are in the process of taking all legal action available to clear its name after a six-point deduction for its involvement in alleged match-fixing was upheld by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).

The newly promoted Serie A club on Friday saw defender Thomas Manfredini cleared of a three-year ban, but captain and former Italy midfielder Cristiano Doni’s three-and-a-half year ban was upheld by the FIGC’s federal justice court. The other headline name from the investigation, retired SS Lazio and Italy forward Giuseppe Signori, also saw his five-year exclusion from all football-related activity upheld.

The investigation has seen 17 individuals suspended for between one and five years. An equal number of clubs, who with the exception of Atalanta are all outside Serie A, have had points deducted or received fines. Atalanta’s fellow Serie A club Chievo Verona earlier chose to enter a plea bargain and was fined $115,000.

The clubs and individuals were cited by the FIGC’s sporting prosecutor following a criminal investigation into a betting scam which had initially revolved around 18 games in Serie B and Italy’s lower divisions.  Police said they had found evidence of an organised system among former and current footballers, sports betting operators and others to manipulate the results of a number of matches. Atalanta’s punishment will take effect for the upcoming 2011-12 Serie A season, but the club has stated its determination to continue its fight against the points deduction.

A club statement read: “Atalanta cannot help but again manifest the profound disappointment with the decision that seriously damages people based only on gossip. This evidence is unreliable and that became clear during the course of the trial. Atalanta reiterates firmly that the club and Doni are totally extraneous to the accusations and will take all legal action to make that clear. The fact Manfredini was cleared represents a satisfying moment and further support for our case.”