Gattuso home searched in match-fix probe
The house of former Rangers and AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso was searched overnight by investigators as part of an ongoing enquiry into match-fixing.
Gattuso and former Lazio and Milan midfielder Cristian Brocchi are among the latest names to be linked with match-fixing as Cremona prosecutors expand their enquiry, resulting in four arrests being made overnight.
Gattuso and Brocchi are both suspected of having contacts with one of the four individuals arrested, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, with the accusation of an involvement in 'sporting fraud'. Two of the individuals arrested - Salvatore Spadaro and Francesco Bazzani - were identified by suspects held as part of a match-fixing trial which commenced two years ago. The two men held have been named as Cosimo Rinci and Fabio Quadri.
Lazio captain Stefano Mauri is currently serving a suspension for his part in the scandal with his first appeal rejected and no date yet set for a further appeal. Former Serie A capocannoniere Giuseppe Signori has also been heavily involved. In 2011 the former Lazio captain was placed under house arrest and subsequently banned for five years from all footballing activity.
"This is another result which confirms the Police efforts against illegal betting in football and which forms part of a much greater context," Raffaele Grassi, director of the operation, told Gazzetta dello Sport. "Today's result is the fruit of the continued investigation Last Bet 1 and Last Bet 2 which have led to a total of 54 arrests with more than 120 people investigated.
"Several former Serie A and Serie B players, as well as a few players still playing now are part of the investigation."
Cremona prosecutor Roberto Di Martino went further by naming 2006 World Cup-winner Gattuso as one of those under investigation, telling the ANSA news agency: "Gattuso and Brocchi were connected to the case by the use of phone taps."
A total of 15 raids were made on homes in northern Italy overnight, including Gattuso's and Brocchi's. First reports suggest Milan's game with Lazio from February 1, 2011, in addition to two more Milan matches - against Chievo and Bari - are being investigated.
Speaking to ANSA, Gattuso's attorney, Andrea D'Amico, confirmed the investigation and added: "At this time we cannot make any comment. He wants to wait to see."
Gattuso, meanwhile, said he is "angered and offended" to have been drawn into the scandal, and the 35-year-old has pleaded his innocence as well as his disappointment at being linked with the enquiry. "I'm angered and offended," Gattuso told Mediaset television. "I'm serene and will explain everything. I don't want any stains on my career. I've never bet in my life."
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