Parma’s sentimental Serie A return saved despite sanctions

After much speculation, Italian club Parma have been docked five points for next season, but will retain their status in Serie A for the coming campaign.

The sanctions come after striker Emanuele Calaiò was found guilty of attempting to fix Parma’s final match of the Serie B season, against Spezia. Calaiò has subsequently been banned for two years and fined €20,000 (£17,800).

The journeyman striker, who joined Parma from Spezia in 2016 was sent four suspicious whatsapp messages to his former Spezia team mates. Just four days prior to the match taking place, the 36 year old messaged Spezia defender Filippo De Col, stating: “Hey Pippein [De Col] you better not give me a hard time Friday my friend,” he then added: “Tell that too Claudiein [Terzi] too”, and “Especially with the relationship you have with me.”

The 24 year old Spezia defender failed to respond to his former teammate, which prompted the following response from the Parma frontman: “However Pippein be calm I was joking anyways for me it’s the same after all I’ll retire in a bit.”

Parma went onto defeat Spezia by two goal to nil, booking their place in the Italian top flight, after three successive promotions.

Parma have maintained that they haven’t done anything wrong, emphasising that they plan to appeal against the decision. In a statement, the club commented:“We consider the condemnation of our employee Emanuele Calaiò to be abnormal in respect to the facts that led to his referral and the inquiry, and the very heavy penalty inflicted on our club for objective responsibility illogical and in contrast with recent sporting judgments.

“We trust that the complete lack of connection of Parma to any unlawful behaviour will be recognised by the federal court of appeal, to which we will resort in a short matter of time, in the hope of finding justice.”

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