CATANIA, Sicily (AP) -- The president of Catania has admitted to fixing five Serie B matches aimed at preventing the Sicilian club from relegation to the third division.
Antonino Pulvirenti also claimed to have made payoffs totaling 500 million euros ($550 million) during his admission on Monday at a preliminary hearing. He was one of seven people arrested last week on sports fraud charges.
Catania prosecutor Giovanni Salvi says, "The investigation still needs to be completed, but now it will all be much simpler."
The five matches under investigation were played against Varese, Trapani, Latina, Ternana, and Livorno. Catania won the first four games in April, then drew 1-1 with Livorno on May 2.
Catania finished 15th in the 22-team Serie B, safely avoiding the bottom four relegation spots.
Catania could be faced with relegation to the fourth division.