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Aston Villa will be hoping to maintain their position in the top four of the Premier League with a win over West Brom this Saturday lunchtime.

Former Juventus executive Luciano Moggi, the alleged ringleader of Italy’s 2006 Calciopoli matchfixing scandal, has been given an 18-month suspended jail sentence for illegal activity involving the now-defunct player agency GEA.

Moggi, the central figure in the Italian match-fixing scandal, allegedly manipulated transfers involving players represented by GEA, which was run by his son, Alessandro Moggi.

Alessandro Moggi received a 14-month sentence, the ANSA news agencies reported.

Prosecutors were seeking a six-year sentence for Luciano Moggi and five years for his son.

Despite the shorter term, Moggi said: ”I am bitter, I did nothing (wrong)”.

Alessandro Moggi, 33, was given a 14-month suspended sentence in connection with the activities of the GEA World agency. Prosecutors had sought a five-year jail term for him.

The Moggis would not have served any time in jail because the offences were committed before May 2006 and are therefore covered by a controversial amnesty voted that year.

Luciano Moggi was banned from football for five years by a sports court in 2006 for influencing the outcome of matches. He denies any wrongdoing.

The court acquitted the other four defendants in the case, including agency employee Davide Lippi, the son of Italy’s World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi. The prosecution wanted a 16-month penalty for Lippi, 29. The other three acquitted were GEA World’s former CEO, Francesco Zavaglia, who faced a three-and-a-half year jail request, and two members of staff for whom prosecutors requested terms of 26 months and eight months.

Luciano Moggi also has been ordered to stand trial on charges of sports fraud and criminal association in another case that begins January 20 in Naples.

Aston Villa will be hoping to maintain their position in the top four of the Premier League with a win over West Brom this Saturday lunchtime.

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