Lazio captain Stefano Mauri has been handed a six-month suspension by the Italian Football Federation for his part in a match-fixing scandal, reports Football Italia.
Mauri stood accused of helping to fix the Serie A fixtures Lazio vs. Genoa and Lecce vs. Lazio back in May 2011. However, he was cleared of any wrongdoing in the Genoa match and only found guilty of failing to report match-fixing in the Lecce encounter, per Associated Press (via NDTV Sports).
The prosecution, led by Stefano Palazzi, had wanted a four-and-a-half-year suspension based on Mauri being found guilty of all charges, but Football Italia provides further details of the final judgement:
Palazzi also wanted Lazio to be docked six points, and Genoa and Lecce three points each. However, the federation fined Lazio €40,000, and Lecce €20,000 because of their players' actions. Genoa were cleared.
The latest development adds to an unwanted culture currently found in sections of Italian football, which, according to the AP, has seen over 50 individuals found guilty of match-fixing in the past two years.
Mauri, who lifted the Coppa Italia last season, was one of eight players who stood accused of underhanded involvement in the two May 2011 fixtures. Three of them—Omar Milanetto, Massimiliano Benassi and Antonio Rosati—were cleared.
Is six months a suitable punishment for Mauri?
Four others all received punishments, the heaviest of which was handed to former Portsmouth man Alessandro Zamperini—already banned for five years—who received an additional two-year suspension.
Stefano Ferrario of Lecce received a six-month ban, while Mario Cassano and Carlo Gervasoni had four-month and two-month stints respectively added to existing suspensions.
The penalties come just a month after Serie B club Bari struck a plea bargain with the Italian Federation. The deal saw Bari receive a one-point penalty and a $32,000 fine for match fixing in connection with two matches.