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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 24 May, 2018

You're nicked: Bari defender admits deliberate OG in fixed match

‘They offered me €80,000′ said Andrea Masiello, ‘and I took the money.’

Masiello avoids eye contact with his teammate after scoring an own goal against Lecce.
Masiello avoids eye contact with his teammate after scoring an own goal against Lecce.
Image: donato fasano/AP/Press Association Images

ANDREA MASIELLO HAS confessed to deliberately scoring an own-goal to influence a Serie A game last season.

The Bari defender was yesterday arrested for his part in the rigged game and today elements of his statement have been leaked in the Italian press.

The goal in question was the second of a 2-0 defeat at home to Lecce who were battling relegation.

According to Corriere del Mezzogiorno, Masiello told investigators:

‘I want to put on record when the score was 1-0, I took advantage of an opportunity to cement the final outcome of the defeat,’

The fee paid to Masiello was €300,000, the former Bari man spoke in detail about the events surrounding his meeting with other players who had been sounded out to throw the game:

“Gianni Carella showed me a cheque for €300,000, just me though. The others said if the game’s result was to be altered, then the answer must be given now. But remember that others refused, as in the beginning I refused.”

‘I took the money’

It was not an isolated incident. Masiello claims he made efforts to return another (smaller) payment made to him, but by now felt pressure from ‘forceful Mafia’ who were orchestrated the match-fixing to save Lecce from relegation.

They offered me €80,000 ahead of the match against Palermo and I took the money – ‘but then I tried to return it. I was scared and then I was certainly not alone.’

You can see the goal here, the 27-year-old seems to have an opportunity to hoof the ball clear with power, but instead sends it rolling toward the corner with a deft touch.

YouTube credit: ingegnerebarese

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Sean Farrell

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