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Match fixing sinks Genoa

The League's disciplinary commission investigated a €250,000 [£173,000] payment from Genoa to their opponents Venezia before the final Serie B game of the season on 11 June and said telephone taps showed it was aimed at "guaranteeing" a Genoa victory.

Genoa's 3-2 win over already relegated Venezia secured them promotion. Now the club, who won six of the first seven Italian championships, will play in Serie C1. The club president Enrico Preziosi and general manager Stefano Capozucca were banned for five years from holding positions in the game, and Genoa said in a statement that Preziosi had resigned.

Francesco Dal Cin, managing director of Venezia, who were declared bankrupt in June, was also given a five-year ban. Martin Lejsal and Massimo Borgobello, players with Venezia last season, were given bans of five and six months respectively. Genoa will start their campaign with a three-point penalty imposed by the League.

Investigators were able to listen to telephone taps of conversations between club officials and between Lejsal and Borgobello.

According to the statement, the phone taps of the players included the phrases "there is an agreement between the two clubs", "there is money involved" and "the club will take it".

The demotion adds to the chaos surrounding the new season which starts on 28 August. Torino, who were promoted with Genoa, and Messina have been excluded from the top flight due to their financial problems. Currently, the 20-team league only has 17 clubs ready to start the season.