Soccer-Napoli's Gaetano handed two-match ban for match-fixing joke


Soccer Football - Pre Season Friendly - Castel di Sangro v Napoli - Stadio Teofilo Patini, Castel di Sangro, Italy - August 28, 2020 Napoli's Gianluca Gaetano in action, as fans are allowed into a stadium for the first time following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

(Reuters) - Napoli midfielder Gianluca Gaetano has been handed a two-match ban for making a joke about match-fixing over the phone, the Italian football federation (FIGC) said on Friday.

The 22-year-old -- on loan at recently promoted Cremonese at that time -- sent a WhatsApp message to Como player Vittorio Parigini four days before their Serie B clash in May asking if he could let his team win.

The message said "Will you leave us the three points on Friday?" followed by two laughing emojis.

Gaetano was charged with violation of the principles of sport fairness and ethics and was also fined 4,500 euros ($4,583.25). Cremonese will have to pay a 5,000 euro fine.

Visiting Cremonese won the game 2-1.

The player will miss games against Verona on Aug. 15 and Monza on Aug. 21.

($1 = 0.9818 euros)

(Reporting by Tommy Lund and Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk)

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