This week's edition of the Yahoo! Soccer Podcast, in conjunction with World Football Daily, focuses on a growing scandal in Italian soccer that involves match-fixing, corruption and alleged mafia involvement.
Atalanta defender Andrea Masiello was arrested earlier this week by Italian police and is reported to have admitted to receiving nearly $500,000 in illegal payments in exchange for performing poorly in certain games. Masiello, who was with Bari at the time of the incidents, faces a prison sentence for his actions, but claims he was targeted by mafia members and later tried to return the money.
Coming just a few years after the wide-ranging Calciopoli corruption saga rocked Italian soccer, this issue has dominated the headlines in Italy this week.
As host of the podcast, I speak to Italy-based soccer journalist Matthew Barker to break down the reasons and ramifications behind a storyline that will continue to rumble. Barker explains why certain Italian teams are seen as susceptible to mafia infiltration and discusses the methods used by anti-corruption police to combat the problem.
The podcast goes on to recap this week's Champions League action, where victories for Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich set up two mouthwatering semifinals later in the month. Renowned Barcelona-based author and journalist Graham Hunter comes on the show to defend Barca against accusations that the team continues to receive favorable treatment from referees.
Finally, World Football Daily colleague James Cranford and I take a look at two of the biggest games of the weekend, as the race for the English Premier League title heats up.
To have your questions answered in next week's show, please message Martin Rogers on Twitter at @mrogersyahoo.
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