Catania president ‘tried to fix games’

Pulvirenti and six other people, including club chief executive Pablo Cosentino, were arrested last week in Italy on suspicion of sports fraud.

Catania, who were demoted from Serie A in 2013-14 after eight consecutive years in the Italy’s top flight, finished 15th out of 22 teams in Serie B this season to avoid relegation.

The bottom four teams were demoted to the third division.

A statement from Pulvirenti’s lawyers that appears on Catania’s official website claims their client did try to “fix the results of several games” but says those attempts had no bearing on the actual outcomes of the games in question.

The statement reads: “Mr. Antonino Pulvirenti, who a few days ago resigned from all posts relating to Calcio Catania, has clarified his position during a lengthy interrogation with the judge who is carrying out the preliminary investigations by proving in particular his absolute non-involvement in the match-fixing phenomenon.

“Mr. Pulvirenti has admitted to having had contact with other parties in order to influence the result of some games, so as to save Catania from relegation.

“However, he has expressed the firm belief, even in the light of the reading of the records, that these contacts have not had any real impact on the outcome of the games in question.”

Five Serie B games involving Catania are under investigation – against Varese, Trapani, Latina, Ternana and Livorno.

Catania won four of those games in April before being held to a 1-1 result by Livorno on May 2.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) have begun their own inquiry and requested the documentation from the Catania prosecutors regarding the investigation labelled “the goal trains”.