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Italian match-fixer avoids prison

The former Bari defender Andrea Masiello has been given a suspended 22-month prison sentence after admitting that he deliberately scored an own goal to help local rivals Lecce avoid relegation from Serie A in May 2011.

The 26-year-old, who is without a club, saved himself from an immediate custodial sentence after negotiating a plea-bargain arrangement. His associates in the scam, Gianni Carella and Fabio Giacobbe, who bet on a number of fixed matches, were handed suspended sentences of 17 months.

Bari had already been relegated when they met Lecce, who were still fighting to avoid the drop. Masiello's own goal gave Lecce a 2-0 win. Lecce were subsequently demoted two division for their involvement in the match-fixing scandal which hit Italy this year.