Milan - Investigators in Palermo have arrested two people who appear to be linked to the Mafia and may have tried to infiltrate the local Serie A side, repubblica. it reported Thursday.
Giovanni Pecoraro, a footballers' agent and former manager of Palermo's youth team, and Marcello Trapani, also a players' agent and a lawyer allegedly connected with the clan of boss Salvatore Lo Piccolo, are under arrest on charges of collaboration with the Mafia.
It appears that the Lo Piccolo clan, whose boss was arrested last year after being on the run for 25 years, was using Pecoraro and Trapani in their attempts to invest in the construction of the new Palermo stadium and controlled the market of young Palermo players.
Investigations based on telephone intercepts and on the confessions of turncoats have shown no contact of Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini, a supermarket entrepreneur, with Mafia people.
Former Palermo sports manager Rino Foschi, however, was delivered a severed goat head in late 2006, a threat for his refusal to pressure Zamparini to use a Mafia-linked contractor for the construction of a supermarket in the Sicilian capital.
There appear to have been pressures also on coach Stefano Colantuono to field players managed by Pecoraro and Trapani.
Investigators also believe that 100 grand-stand tickets were reserved for Mafia people when Palermo played at home at the Renzo Barbera stadium. (dpa)