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Italy arrests 10 mafia suspects in soccer match-fixing probe
May 23, 2016 / 3:45 PM / a year ago

Italy arrests 10 mafia suspects in soccer match-fixing probe

NAPLES, Italy (Reuters) - Italian police have arrested 10 people on suspicion of being members of the mafia as part of a probe into soccer match-fixing, investigators in the southern city of Naples said on Monday.

The arrests stem from a probe into two matches in Serie B -- Italy’s second-tier championship -- in 2014 that investigators say were rigged.

During the investigation, police uncovered a network linked to a local clan that primarily dealt in drugs but managed to make an illicit profit of 100,000 euros ($112,000) on one rigged match alone, investigators told a televised news conference.

“We can say with certainty that in some soccer teams there are people who don’t just kick a ball around on a Sunday but have a series of connections they can use to turn their job into crime,” prosecutor Filippo Beatrice said.

Pending their trial, seven of the suspects have been jailed and the remaining three are under house arrest.

A Serie A player is under investigation as part of the same probe but no arrest warrant has been issued for him.

The matches were allegedly organized by a young mafia boss who was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of ordering a machine-gun attack on a police barracks in a suburb of Naples.

Match manipulation has led to large-scale investigations in recent years, including a 2011 probe that led to a criminal trial of dozens of coaches and players. The future coach of English Premier League club Chelsea, Antonio Conte, was cleared last week of any role in the scandal.

additional reporting by Amalia De Simone, writing by Isla Binnie, editing by Gareth Jones

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