ATALANTA ACES IN TROUBLE
By James Burton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Luciano Zauri (pictured), Sebastiano Siviglia and Fabio Gallo were each handed one-year bans from football following the federation`s investigation into the result of a Coppa Italia tie between Atalanta and Serie B club Pistoiese on August 21 last year.
The reasons for the banning of six players by the Italian football federation will not be made clear until Saturday but it now seems that no player has been found guilty of actual match fixing.
Two Pistoiese players, Alfredo Aglietti and Massimiliano Allegri were also suspended for one year for their involvement.
Giacomo Banchelli of Atalanta was given a lesser suspension of just six months.
Atalanta appeared to support their players, with a statement saying: "The club trusts that their innocence will be proved definitively in the appeal hearing and hopes that a date for such a hearing can be set as soon as possible."
It has emerged that the players have probably been found guilty of unfair behaviour and not illegal activities and this is the reason that none of the individuals were handed the three-year ban requested by the prosecution.
Daniele Amerini, Girolamo Bizzari and Gianluca Lillo of Pistoiese along with Atalanta's star player Cristiano Doni were all cleared of any wrongdoing.
Doni, Siviglia and Zauri are all key members of the Atalanta side currently riding high in Serie A and challenging the bigger clubs for a lucrative Champions League berth.
Doni has even attracted the attention of Manchester Unite, with it rumoured the Premiership champions were awaiting the outcome of the inquiry before deciding whether to make a bid for the highly-rated midfielder.