Soccer-Lazio captain Mauri ban increased to nine months

Reuters

(Adds Mauri quote, byline)

* Nine-month ban effectively ends season

* Original ban extended after appeal rejected

By Terry Daley

ROME, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Lazio captain Stefano Mauri has had his ban for failing to report match-fixing increased to nine months after losing an appeal against the original six-month suspension.

Italy's federal court of appeal (CGF) increased the ban on Thursday and said that a 40,000 euro ($54,400) fine imposed on Lazio would be increased to 50,000 euro, the Italian soccer federation (FIGC) said in a statement.

"The CGF... rejects the appeals of the footballer Stefano Mauri and of Lazio football club," it said.

The player's legal team, who described the ruling as "not only unjust but incomprehensible", have 10 days to contest the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

"After prison, house arrest, allegations of illegal sports betting ban and after two degrees in front of the sports justice, I am paying for my friendship with Alessandro Zamperini with nine months disqualification," the midfielder wrote on his own website (www.smauri.it) on Friday.

Zamperini was banned from the game for seven years for his role in the "calcioscommesse" scandal. During his testimony he claimed that Mauri was not involved in match-fixing.

Mauri, 33, had initially been banned for six months by the football federation for keeping quiet about match-fixing in Lazio's game against Lecce in May 2011.

The midfielder was one of eight players accused of sporting fraud relating to the Lecce match and a game against Genoa, both of which ended in 4-2 wins to the Rome side.

The ruling means that Mauri's season is effectively over, with the ban keeping him out until at least May 2. His contract with the Serie A club expires at the end of the season.

($1 = 0.7358 euros) (Editing by John O'Brien)

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