Lazio skipper caught in match-fixing case

Lazio skipper caught in match-fixing case

CREMONA, Italy - The Associated Press
Lazio skipper caught in match-fixing case

A presentation shows pictures of the two arrested players Stefano Mauri (L) and Alessandro Zamperini (C), during a news conference about the police operation. REUTERS photo

Italian authorities arrested Lazio captain Stefano Mauri and more than a dozen others yesterday as part of a wide-ranging investigation into match-fixing in football.

Police also swept through the Italy national team training site near Florence as part of the operation.
The Italian football federation said Mauri was one of 14 people arrested and later announced that Zenit St. Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito would not be in Italy’s European Championship squad after it emerged the player was being investigated.

Two police cars arrived at the national team’s training site at around 6:25am local time and left more than two hours later. Criscito’s house in Genoa was also searched.

Criscito had been in Italy coach Cesare Prandelli’s provisional 32-man squad for Euro 2012, but was left out of the final 23-man group.

The coach of Italian champion Juventus, Antonio Conte, was also placed under investigation for alleged wrongdoing while he was coach of Siena and his house in Turin was searched.

Siena president Massimo Mezzaroma has also been placed under investigation.

“The searches are connected to what’s happening with Siena,” said Cremona prosecutor Roberto Di Martino. “There are seven, eight games being looked at and there have been statements that make us think they were manipulated. The searches involved players, coaches and directors of the club, including Conte and Mezzaroma.”

“We shouldn’t place too much emphasis on the blitz at Coverciano, it is a problem that concerns only Criscito and not other players in the national team at the moment,” Di Martino said, before the squad was announced. “Also we shouldn’t place too much emphasis on this anyway, the notification of an impending investigation is a tool we have, but not a guilty judgment. There’s been no action taken against Criscito travelling, he can play at the Euros easily.”

Action has been taken against 19 people, 11 of whom are footballers or former footballers. Five of the arrests were made in Hungary.

Mauri has been accused of sporting fraud. Most of the footballers accused now play in Serie B or lower leagues, although one, Omar Milanetto, spent five years at Genoa before joining Padova in 2011.

Numerous others have had their houses searched, including Chievo Verona’s Sergio Pellissier.

More than 50 people have been arrested in Italy in the past year as part of the probe. Former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni was banned from football for three and a half years last summer, and former Lazio captain Giuseppe Signori was also arrested.

Turkish rigging hearing today

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

The 16th hearing in the Turkish match-fixing case will be held at the Çağlayan Courthouse in Istanbul today.

A total of 93 football club officials and players are charged with allegedly manipulating several games in the 2010-2011 Super League season.

A possible highlight of the day will be Trabzonspor chairman Sadri Şener’s defense. Şener is being charged with having paid incentives to rival Fenerbahçe’s opponents.

Fenerbahçe won last year’s title over Trabzon only on goal difference, and officials from both clubs are being charged with manipulating games.