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Football: Italian task force unveiled to probe match-fixing

last update: June 10, 18:00

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Rome, 10 June (AKI) - Italy presented its plan for a task force to crack down on corruption in soccer following after last week's arrest of 16 people on suspicion of taking part in a of match-rigging ring.

"We have examined what has taken happened over the past few days in soccer betting and we have tried to work out ways of preventing it occurring again," Italian interior minister Roberto Maroni told reporters on Friday.

Politicians, police and administrators from different sports organisations will be members of the task force, which meets for the first time next week.

The task force will probe links between the mafia and soccer match fixing.

Sixteen people were arrested 31 May on suspicion of rigging matches in Serie B and other minor leagues. Investigators have since said that some games in Italy's top Serie A may also have been fixed.

Among those arrested was former Italy striker Giuseppe Signori, while ex-Sampdoria defender Stefano Bettarini is also a target in the probe.

Executives in Serie B and C, as well as bookmakers are also being probed for possible involvement in the alleged gambling ring.

Police in Cremona near the northern city of Milan began investigating the case six months ago after some players were allegedly offered drinks containing sedatives during a game.

In 2006 a match-fixing scandal hit Serie A resulting in Turin club Juventus' demotion to Serie B and point reductions for Lazio, Milan and Fiorentina.

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