Italy’s best player has been sentenced to five years in prison for match-fixing

Italy’s best player has been sentenced to five years in prison for match-fixing
Italy’s best player has been sentenced to five years in prison for match-fixing
NATIONAL CITIZENS: Armando Izzo (left, No. 2) after a European Championship qualifier against Liechtenstein in 2019. Also: Leonardo Spinazzola, Leonardo Pavoletti, Gianluca Mancini, Moise Kean and Marco Verratti

Armando Ezzo, the Serie A Monza centre-back with three caps on the merit list, has been sentenced to five years in prison for match-fixing.

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Convicted of helping the Naples mafia fix a match nine years ago. The 31-year-old immediately said he would appeal the ruling.

– I’m so disappointed. I was acquitted of match fixing on May 25, 2014, but was found guilty of match fixing on May 17 of the same year, a match I hadn’t even played. He said according to the report, I will read the reasoning with my advocates, and we will appeal Gazzetta dello Sport.

His defense attorney, Stefano Montone, told LaPresse he believes there is a good chance the ruling will be overturned.

Better days: Armando Ezzo v Torino in 2019.

Ezzo was found guilty by a Napoli court for helping to fix a Serie B match between Modena and his then-club Avellino. He was found guilty of participating in organized crime and sports fraud. The sentence was two months more severe than the prosecutor claimed.

Izzo’s cousin Humberto Accorso, believed to be a member of the Mafia, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Another person was also charged with complicity.

Monza, which is owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, supports Izzo and says in a statement that the club believes in his innocence.

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– Monza expresses its sincere support to Armando. She says we are convinced that he is alien to the criminal environment.

Ezzo played 26 matches for Monza this season and helped the club secure its place in Serie A, where the club is playing for the first time.

In 2017 he was banned from football for 18 months for failing to report match-fixing during his time at Avellino. The sentence was reduced to 6 months after appeal.

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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