Sunday 17 December 2017

Gattuso 'stunned' by fixing claims

Former Italy and Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has denied all match-fixing allegations
Former Italy and Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has denied all match-fixing allegations

Gordon Tynan

Former Italy and Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso is shocked that he is being investigated on suspicion of involvement in match-fixing, according to his agent.

Gattuso, a 2006 World Cup winner who played for Rangers in the late 1990s, was named by Italian media in an inquiry being carried out by Cremona's prosecuting office. Former Lazio midfielder Cristian Brocchi is included in the investigation, according to reports.

Both face allegations that they were involved in a betting ring that fixed Serie A and other Italian games in the 2010-11 season, with the 'Gazzetta dello Sport' reporting that Milan matches against Lazio, Chievo and Bari in February and March 2011 were under investigation, plus games involving Juventus and Inter Milan.

"Gennaro is stunned by the news," Gattuso's agent Andrea D'Amico said yesterday. "I spoke to him and he is returning home (to Milan).

"We are remaining calm and we have to be patient and see how the investigation develops. However, just because he is under investigation does not mean anything, for all we know this could be just false allegations.

"Sometimes when you are a famous player, it is very easy for your name to appear and to be a target."

Reports in Italy claim that Gattuso and Brocchi both had telephone contact with people who were arrested on Monday. The four taken into custody are charged with sporting fraud as part of the 'Last Bet' operation, an investigation that began in 2010 and has led to 54 arrests, including current and former Italian players.

It has resulted in lengthy bans for former Lazio captains Giuseppe Signori and Stefano Mauri, as well as former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni. Several clubs have also had points deducted.

Prosecutors have detailed an extensive match-fixing ring, stretching as far as Singapore and South America, that was allegedly in operation for more than 10 years.

Gattuso (35) retired from playing earlier this year to pursue a coaching career. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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