Juve's Conte investigated in match-fixing probe


Mon, 28 May 09:36:00 2012

* Juve coach Conte investigated

* Lazio captain Mauri arrested (Adds background, details)

Italian police investigating a widening soccer match-fixing scandal placed Juventus trainer Antonio Conte under investigation and arrested the captain of Lazio Stefano Mauri in a probe which also targeted Italy defender Domenico Criscito.

Police also visited Coverciano, the Italian national team headquarters where the Azzurri are preparing for a friendly match with Luxembourg on Tuesday, and searched the room occupied by Criscito.

As well as Mauri, police also arrested former Genoa midfielder Omar Milanetto, authorities said.

A police statement said five people had also been arrested in Hungary on suspicion of being part of an illegal international betting ring headed by Singaporean Tan Seet Eng, who was arrested in December.

Police in the northern city of Cremona said they had made 19 arrests and were investigating Conte, fresh from his triumph in leading Juventus to the Italian Serie A championship for the first time since the club was relegated in 2006, in an earlier match-fixing scandal.

He is being investigated on suspicion of sporting fraud and fraudulent association over allegations concerning a match between his previous club Siena and Novara in April 2011.

Police said searches were conducted at the homes of a number of players, trainers and administrators of clubs in Serie A, Serie B and the lower division Lega Pro on suspicion of involvement in match-fixing on behalf of international criminal organizations.

Monday's operation was part of "Last Bet", a wider investigation into match-fixing in Italian soccer which has already seen a number of arrests of current and former Italian players.

"In this part of the investigation, indications have emerged of manipulation in matches from the 2010-11 Serie A championship, including games between Lazio and Genoa and Lecce and Lazio," Raffale Grassi, director of SCO, the police service responsible for the investigation, told SkyTG24 television.

In June last year, the Interior Ministry set up a special match-fixing task force in response to a number of high-profile cases.

Former Atalanta captain and Italy midfielder Cristiano Doni, was banned for three-and-a-half years in August for his part in the 'Calcioscommesse' match-fixing scandal involving Serie B matches last season.

Atalanta, promoted from Serie B, were deducted six points in the top flight this season as a result of the scandal.

Former Lazio and Italy striker Giuseppe Signori was banned for five years and 15 other players were banned for between one and five years for their part in the same scandal.


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