Fans who attended Bari’s 2-0 home defeat to Lecce in Serie A on May 15, 2011, have been awarded €400 each in damages after it was proven that the game had been fixed. A class action lawsuit was brought against the two clubs by a group of supporters who felt betrayed by the result. Their efforts have been successful, with the judge of the Tribunal of Bari ruling that their “sporting passion had been ruined” that day, decreeing that each of the spectators present at the Stadio San Nicola will be awarded damages.
The costs will be covered by those found guilty of rigging the game, including defender Andrea Masiello, who is currently on the books at Atalanta.
“The fans saw their own sporting values mutated in a way that damaged their habitual life,” the judge, Valeria Spagnoletti, said in quotes reported in the media.
To receive the damages, each fan is required to provide a copy of Masiello’s admission to having fixed the game in addition to further proof, such as the match ticket, that they were at the stadium.
Masiello admitted in November that he had agreed with Lecce management to arrange for them to win the game. He was due to earn €300,000 for his involvement, although only €200,000 was actually paid. By winning the game, Lecce avoided relegation to Serie B.
“In the first half, we played well, like we wanted to win,” he said last year. “But inside me, the necessity of making the team due to the amount of money I had been promised was weighing me down. Unpleasant things happened and I know this and am ashamed of it.”
Spagnoletti said this action had “betrayed” the fans, who had launched a class action led by a solicitor, Luca Maggi — himself a Bari fan who attended that game.