Italian press is reporting 17 people have been arrested in connection with the latest match fixing allegations to rock the country. Gazzetta Dello Sport is reporting live on a press conference in Cremona that implicates Atalanta’s Cristiano Doni alongside former Serie A players Luigi Sartor (ex-Inter and Roma) and Alessandro Zamperini as having been arrested. The case is centered on 20 different games with one game involving Champions League side Napoli (v Sampdoria in January 2011) as part of the investigation and another between Brescia and Lecce closely scrutinized.
Pietro Lo Monaco commented on the case, stating: “I have a feeling of dismay and we hope that the latest episode will prove a deterrent. The problem arises from the lowest level of the game and works its way up.”
A number of the matches are from Serie B in 2009/10 and 2010/11. It’s thought that gambling rings in some parts of Asia are being used to place the bets with Eastern Europe used as a point of contact for both sides. This was shown with the arrest of seven “Slavs” as part of the case.
Chief Prosecutor Roberto Di Martino shed some more light on where the investigation might be headed, saying: “Police reports have enabled us to undertand that the problem of manipulation of football also involves Croatia, Germany, Turkey, and Hungary. It has a major importance of a letter of request made in Finland, where there was a gentleman of Singapore, already condemned in Germany, which was part of this transnational organization.”
Further to this, the Police have records of calls made in Croatia in relation to bribery in the five of the games mentioned. Italy has seen a number of scandals in recent years with the most high profile Calciopoli case seeing Juventus relegated from Serie A and stripped of league championships.