Parma striker Emanuele Calaio banned for match-fixing , club docked points
Written by: Neil Talnikar
Time and again Italian football has seen some serious scandals jeopardize its good reputation.
Striker Emmanuele Calaio of Parma Calcio has been accused of being involved in a match-fixing scandal at the end of the 2017-18 season. The Italian striker allegedly sent 'suspicious messages' to some of his former teammates before Spezia played Parma on 18 May.
The latter went on to win the game 2-0 to secure promotion to the Italian top flight. Calaio who left Spezia to join Parma in 2016 contacted players Filippo de Col and Claudio Terzi via messaging service WhatsApp, reports BBC.
Calaio has been charged with match-fixing and faces a two-year ban and a hefty €20,000 fine (£17,800). Moreover, the TFN have also sanctioned a deduction of five points for the club in the upcoming Serie A season.
Parma had officially been declared bankrupt in 2015, after racking up €218m in liabilities and €63m in unpaid salaries. After a series of unexpected events, the club was refounded and entered into the low-lying Serie D in the 2016-17 season.
Since then, they club have been on an amazing run of form where they secured three successive promotions and they now look forward to playing in the Serie A in the upcoming season. Their return to the Italian top flight is quite remarkable, as they finished second in Serie B last season, just below Empoli after beating Spezia in the last game of the season.
However, their excitement and celebrations were cut-short due to the match-fixing scandal. Parma have denied any wrongdoing saying, the messages do not contain any ‘irregularities or malice.’ However, the Italian FA passed the case on to the National Federal Court (TFN) of Italy in July. As a consequence, the TFN sanctioned the points deduction.
The TFN saw the messages sent by Calaio, as deemed to influence the game by ‘eliciting a reduced effort’ from de Col and Terzi.
At the age of 36, Calaio is most probably expected to have played his last game for Parma, bringing an end to a rather good career, which has seen the player score 173 goals in 530 appearances in all competitions since 1999.
The two-year ban marks yet another controversy which will go down in the history of Italian football and a possible end to an exceptional career.
Back in the summer of 2006, when the infamous scandal of Calciopoli was uncovered by the Italian police, a shockwave went across the football world. Major Italian clubs like Juventus, Milan, Fiorentina, and Lazio were involved in the scandal and severe actions were imposed against all of them, with Juventus, the then Serie A champions, getting relegated to Serie B.
Published: Wed Jul 25, 2018 03:32 PM IST