A court in Naples has sentenced Italian Monza defender Armando Etzo to five years in prison for manipulating the outcome of a football match.
The player’s lawyers said Etsu, who has three caps, will appeal the decision.
According to Italian news agencies, Itzo, along with other players, was accused of helping to manipulate the outcome of the Serie B match between Avellino and Modena in the 2013-2014 season.
A court in Naples found the 31-year-old footballer guilty of aiding and abetting the Camorra, the city’s mafia organization, as well as sports fraud for agreeing to influence the outcome of a match for money.
His relative Humberto Accorzo, suspected of belonging to the Camorra organization, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, as was another suspected member of the same group.
The Monza club, owned by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, considered their player innocent and wrote in a statement: “Monza expresses its full support for Armando, convinced that he is not involved in criminal activities.”
In his first season in Serie A, Monza ensured his survival by finishing in tenth place with five stages remaining in the season. Ezo has made 26 league appearances this season.