Catania (Italy), June 23 (IANS) Italian football club Catania's president Antonino Pulvirenti and six others were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of match-fixing to keep the club from being relegated from the country's second division (Serie B) this year, the local police said. Apart from Pulvirenti, chief executive officer (CEO) Pablo Cosentino, former sporting director Daniele Delli Carri and four other members were arrested.
The police suspect the seven were involved in fraud and bribery and helped Catania's survival in the league last season. Catania finished 15th in the league, five points above the relegation zone and only two outside of the relegation playoff places.
"Police executed seven arrest warrants for leaders of Catania, who are suspected of buying games in Serie B to allow the team to win and avoid relegation," the local police was quoted as saying by goal.com.
"The executives arrested are accused in various ways of fraud in sports competitions. There are further raids being carried out in Rome, Chieti, Campobasso and Catania."
The news represents a major fall from grace for the club who were last in the top flight (Serie A) in 2013-14, and is the latest scandal to disrupt and mar Italian football in the last 10 years.