Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Gattuso under investigation

18 December 2013, 10:58

Rome - Gennaro Gattuso, a member of Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning side, was placed under investigation while four people were arrested on Tuesday in connection with a match-fixing scandal, Italian police reported.

Gattuso, 35, sacked earlier this season as coach of second division Palermo, is suspected of "associating with criminals with intent to commit sporting fraud".

His agent Andrea D'Amico said: "Rino (Gattuso) is stunned. For the moment we cannot comment, he's waiting to understand (what's happening). The lawyers are in touch with the public prosecutor."

The long-running "Calcioscommesse" saga took a further twist with the arrest of the four, all said to have provided the link between players and a clandestine betting ring.

Police declined to say where the arrests had taken place, but the nationwide operation was led by the Cremona prosecutor's office, which initially uncovered the scandal in 2011.

The four were named as Salvatore Spadaro, Francesco Bazzani, Cosimo Rinci and Fabio Quadri, the news agency Ansa reported.

Gattuso is to be questioned over his links to Bazzani.

"For 30 Serie A matches there was contact between 'Civ' (Bazzani's nickname) and players and officials," said the Cremona public prosecutor Roberto Di Martino in a press conference.

Di Martino said one of the main matches under investigation was between Chievo and AC Milan on February 20, 2011, and a study of mobile telephones revealed that Gattuso, then a Milan player, had been in contact with Bazzani.

Spadaro is said to be linked with the "Bolognese" gang which was involved with former player Giuseppe Signori, who was arrested in 2011 in the initial investigation into match-fixing.

Bazzani has also been linked with Signori, as well as Almir Gegic, the alleged ringleader of another match-fixing gang.

Gegic, a former Serbian footballer who holds Turkish and Slovak passports, handed himself in to police last year following a year on the run.

Rinci, chairman of the Riccione football club, and Quadri both have links with Spadaro.

Gattuso, renowned as a tough-tackling midfielder who spent the best years of his career with Milan from 1999 to 2012, is not the only former player caught up in the latest investigation.

His former Milan team-mate Cristian Brocchi, 37, is also under investigation.

"Cristian is calm. Under investigation does not mean guilty, nor convicted," said his agent Davide Lippi, the son of Italy's 2006 World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi.

"We are ready to defend his reputation while waiting for prosecutors to do their job.

"I would invite everyone not to jump to conclusions, right now there's nothing serious, just requests for tickets (to matches) from certain people."

Raffaele Grassi, the director of central operations for the police, explained that this investigation was part of a broader one that had already seen 54 people arrested and 120 people put under investigation.

Di Martino said that despite the numerous investigations, also by other prosecutors' offices, and the number of arrests, illicit betting did not seem to be abating.

"I'm not opinionated and I can't start speculating but it's a fact that despite the arrests and investigations, a large number of these people continue to do what they are doing," he said.

"There certainly hasn't been much of a reaction in Italy given everything is continuing as before."

Di Martino previously described the Calcioscommesse scandal as a "bottomless pit", saying it would run on for years.

It originally involved mostly the second and third divisions but also some top flight matches.

Former Italy striker Signori and then-Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni were the most high-profile names caught up in the affair in 2011 and were subsequently given lengthy bans from football.

However, Juventus coach Antonio Conte was later implicated and also banned for four months as the investigation widened.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...