24th of July 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Parma striker Emanuele Calaio has been found guilty of match-fixing and has been banned for two years. He is already 36 years old, so the ban will probably put an end to his career. The club have also been punished, Parma will start the 2018-2019 Serie A season with a penalty of five points. Calaio will also have to pay a fine worth 20,000 euros. The National Federal Court of the Italian Football Association took this decision after Calaio sent "suspicious messages" to two players of the opposing team before a direct match.
The match in question took place in Serie B in May 2018 and it was the game that brought Parma back into the top flight after they defeated Spezia 2-0. Calaio had played for Spezia before joining Parma in 2016 and before the match he contacted two of his former team-mates on WhatsApp. Media reports claimed that Filippo de Col and Claudio Terzi were asked by Calaio not to try to hard during the match, but Parma denied the accusations at the time. This was the third consecutive promotion for Parma after they had been relegated to Serie D in 2015 after being declared bankrupt.
The National Federal Court found that the messages that Calaio sent out did have an influence on the game by "eliciting a reduced effort" from De Col and Terzi. The most obvious message that Calaio sent to De Col was: "Hey, please don't bust your balls on Friday my friend. Tell it to Claudio as well. You both have a great relationship with me". Those messages were sent around noon, and then, around five hours later, Calaio sent another message implying that what he had said earlier was a joke. He didn't receive a reply to any of the messages, De Col said he was quite shocked and that he had immediately revealed everything to his team manager. Emanuele Calaio has been a regular presence in the top two divisions of Italian football over the past couple of decades, he has over 500 career appearances and has represented Italy at Under-21 level. He played for Napoli between 2005 and 2008, scoring 40 goals in 112 appearances in the Italian top flight.
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