Catania facing possible relegation amid match-fixing case
The state prosecutor studying the case of Italian Serie B club Catania, whose president Antonino Pulvirenti admitted to buying wins for his side last season, has suggested they be relegated and docked five points in the third division this coming campaign.
Stefano Palazzi, who also ruled on the relegation of Juventus to Serie B in the 2006 Calciopoli scandal, has also suggested Pulvirenti be banned from stepping foot inside a football ground for the next five years.
Palazzi's demands will now be studied by a tribunal panel, who will declare an official sentence within days, to enable the fixture lists for the Italian second and third divisions to be released on Aug. 27. The Lega Pro -- Italian third division -- season is due to start on Sept. 6.
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Although Pulvirenti has admitted to paying sums of money to opposition teams in return for three points, the punishment could still be revised.
The Sicilian club's relegation to the third division looks inevitable with Virtus Entella set to be reinstated to the second division. Palazzi said he has already shown lenience in view of the fact Pulvirenti collaborated fully with the investigation.
The club president says he will accept his own punishment. "It's my first and last time [in a sporting tribunal] because I'm leaving this world [of football] for good," Pulvirenti said, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I've left everything in the hands of my solicitor. I am leaving as owner of the club.
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"I collaborated right from the very beginning and clearly Palazzi took that into consideration, but it's over for me -- with this, I'm finished with football."
"We'll have to see [whether Catania survive]. They're coming out of a situation which is my fault. I don't know if they have benefitted in some way from this, only time will tell. I was in a position where I was being threatened constantly, and it's not easy in a place like Catania.
"I received bullets in the post with death threats to me and my family. I made a mistake, I should have been stronger. I've already banned myself from visiting grounds anyway, because I'm not going to see any game again, not even as a spectator."
Pulvirenti admitted to manipulating matches involving his side last season as they slipped perilously close to the bottom three and a second straight relegation. He claims he did so out of fear of his own life after receiving death threats from fans.