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By ESPN Staff

Atalanta, Udinese face fixing probe

Two Serie A clubs must face a committee investigating renewed claims of match-fixing in Italian football.

Atalanta and Udinese are among 18 clubs set to face the Italian Football Federation's (FIGC) sporting prosecutor following an investigation undertaken by the public prosecutor of Cremona.

Three Serie B teams - Ascoli, Hellas Verona and Sassuolo - 11 Pro League teams - Alexandria, Cremonese, Benevento, Ravenna, Virtus Entella, Piacenza, Esperia Viareggio, Portogruaro, Taranto, Spezia and Reggiana - and two amateur sides - Cus Chieti and Pino Di Matteo - will also be called before the prosecutor at the hearings starting early next month.

The FIGC confirmed that 26 individuals implicated in the investigation - among them former Lazio and Italy star Giuseppe Signori and Atalanta's veteran midfielder Cristiano Doni - will also appear at the hearings.

The Italian authorities are so far believed to have identified 18 suspicious matches, including one Serie A encounter between Inter Milan and Lecce, and made a total of 16 arrests.

Last season's Serie B clash between Piacenza and Atalanta - who subsequently secured promotion to the top flight - has also come under scrutiny following reports of irregular betting patterns.

According to the Italian news agency ANSA, Atalanta risks demotion and club captain Doni faces a three-year ban if the allegations are proven.

Signori, 43, was among those arrested on June 1 amid claims by prosecutors that the 16 had been involved in manipulating results of matches in Serie B and lower leagues.

Italian football was last gripped by match-fixing allegations in 2006, when the Calciopoli affair saw Juventus stripped of two Scudettos and relegated to Serie B after being found guilty of trying to influence referee selection.

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