Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Parma Calico 1913, newly promoted to Italy’s Serie A, has denied allegations that text messages sent by two of its players at the conclusion of last season indicated their involvement in match-fixing. ‘The explanation of the players Emanuele Calaiò and Fabio Ceravolo was heard yesterday afternoon by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Rome’, read a 9 June statement. ‘Both men were simply ask to account for two text messages, sent to their former teammates at [AC] Spezia in the days before the game. The content of the texts referred to – which were made available to Parma in the last hour – do not contain any kind of irregularity or malice, as explained by our members and as we are sure will also be determined by the competent bodies.’
Parma beat Spezia 2-0 on 18 May to secure automatic promotion to Serie A on goal difference over Frosinone. It is understood that ahead of the game, the two Parma players sent text messages to their former Spezia teammates asking them not to try too hard.
Parma has achieved successive promotions over three seasons, after being demoted from Serie A to Italy’s Serie D (fourth tier) in 2014. On 19 May 2014, the Italian FA (FIGC) refused the club a licence to compete in UEFA’s 2014/15 competitions due to unpaid tax of €300,000 on payments to players. On 29 May 2014, Italy’s Olympic committee (CONI) dismissed Parma’s appeal against the FIGC decision.
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