Match-fixing probe keeps Italian prosecutor busy

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Sophisticated match-fixers now use scores of smaller bets on a fixed game instead of one large wager, and they often wait until the last minute to lock in the odds before betting companies can notice shifts.

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Widespread soccer scandals are not new in Italy. Court cases are still going on from a 2006 match-fixing inquiry dubbed “Calciopoli,” which involved clubs putting pressure on referees and led to 28-time Italian champion Juventus’ relegation to the less-prestigious Serie B, as well as penalties for a handful of other clubs.

The last major betting scandal in Italy was in 1980, when there were also numerous arrests and bans for club officials and top players, including Paolo Rossi, who returned to lead Italy to the 1982 World Cup title.

Di Martino is convinced that match-fixing continues in Italy, despite his investigation.

“I’m sure it still goes on,” he said. “I strongly doubt it has stopped. … I hope this inquiry makes an impact, and just for that I’m trying to keep it going.”

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AP Sports Writer John Leicester in Paris and Assistant Europe Editor Sheila Norman-Culp in London contributed to this report. Dunbar reported from Geneva.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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