Ex-Bari defender Andrea Masiello paid €50k for scoring own goal | inside World Soccer

Former Bari defender Andrea Masiello has admitted to have pocketed €50,000 by scoring an own goal during the club's relegation season in 2010/11.

Bari defender Andrea Masiello reacts after scoring an own goal against Lecce
Bari defender Andrea Masiello reacts after scoring an own goal against Lecce

Photo: Getty Images

Italian football is once again embroiled in yet another betting scandal and it appears Bari fixed a number of Serie A matches at the back end of last season to help decide which teams went down and which qualified for Europe.

Despite their reputation for attractive football, Bari could not compete with Serie A's big guns last year and a host of players reportedly feared they would not be paid as they slipped into the relegation zone.

At the climax of Bari's fiercely contested clash against Lecce last year, Masiello committed what appeared to be a ghastly error, poking a cross into his own goal instead of hoofing it clear.

The 27-year-old, who was playing for Atalanta in Serie A until January, collapsed dejectedly on the grass after his own-goal sealed a 2-0 defeat for Bari.

But Masiello has now admitted to investigators that he was offered at least €50,000 to score the own goal to ensure Bari lost and help secure Lecce's survival in Serie A.

"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," he said in his statement, published in Corriere del Mezzogiorno.

Masiello, who was arrested on Monday, has been put in the infirmary in Bari prison to avoid violence from other prisoners.

Meanwhile, eight Bari players - Daniele Portanova, Alessandro Parisi, Simone Bentivoglio, Marco Rossi, Abdelkader Ghezzal, Marco Esposito, Antonio Bellavista and Nicola Belmonte - are also on the authorities’ radar.

Investigators suspect players of being approached to throw games by a Balkan betting syndicate known as The Gypsies.

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