Napoli face points deduction for match-fixing

Paolo Cannavaro was found guilty of match-fixing. Photo: PA

Serie A title hopefuls Napoli will be deducted two points after defenders Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava were handed six-month bans for failing to report match-fixing, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has confirmed.

Former Azzurri goalkeeper Matteo Gianello has been banned for 39 months for admitting an attempt to fix Napoli's top-flight meeting with Sampdoria in 2010, with Cannavaro and Grava punished for failing to report their knowledge of Gianello's actions and Napoli penalised as the players' employer.

A disciplinary commision statement published on FIGC today read: "Two penalty points for Napoli and a 70,000 euro fine.

"A ban of three years and three months for Matteo Gianello and bans of six months for Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava."

Gianello, now a free agent, confessed to attempting to fix the outcome of Napoli's Serie A match at Sampdoria in May 2010.

Cannavaro and Grava denied any wrongdoing but are set to miss the rest of the season for failing to report Gianello's activities to the authorities at the time.

Despite making a strong start to the season, Napoli had fallen eight points behind league leaders and reigning champions Juventus, with today's deduction further distancing Walter Mazzarri's side as they slip into fifth place behind Inter Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina.

FIGC prosecutor Stefano Palazzi had previously suggested a ban of 16 months for Gianello but a disciplinary tribunal recommended a lengthier suspension.

A one-point deduction was the original proposal for Napoli, with Cannavaro and Grava facing nine-month bans, but those verdicts have also been amended.

Napoli, Cannavaro and Grava are likely to appeal the hefty sanctions through the FIGC before approaching the TNAS tribunal court in Rome should they be unsuccessful.

The disciplinary commission also issued a two-point deduction for Lega Pro side Portogruaro while Crotone were acquitted of any wrongdoing in a 2011 match between the two sides.

The FIGC's wide-ranging investigation into match-fixing, known as 'Calcioscommesse' saw Juventus head coach Antonio Conte suspended from the game for four months for failing to report his knowledge of match-fixing during his time in charge of Siena.

Conte's former club accepted a six-point deduction for their role in the scandal, with former Bari defender Andrea Masiello receiving a 22-month suspended prison sentence after admitting scoring an own-goal during a relegation decider.

Ex-Siena defender Emanuele Pesoli chained himself to the headquarters of the FIGC for four days in protest against a three-year ban.