01/08/2012 : ITALIAN ‘BETGATE' FOOTBALL FURORE SPREADS
Seven Serie A and five Serie B clubs under investigation…and there could be more
The growing furore over betting corruption in Italian soccer has resulted in the country becoming a laughing stock in international sport, opined the publication WSC this weekend.
The article was commenting on investigations which are continuing into 2012, with a judicial enquiry set to resume next Wednesday.
"New revelations have confirmed the gravity of the scandal, largely thanks to the partial "confessions" of Cristiano Doni, Filippo Carobbio and Carlo Gervasoni," WSC reports.
"There are now seven clubs under suspicion from Serie A – Chievo, Genoa, Lazio, Lecce, Novara, Palermo and Siena – and five from Serie B, plus others from lower down. The list is unlikely to end there.
“Players now include Lazio’s Stefano Mauri, the recently retired Nicola Ventola and Chievo captain Sergio Pellissier."
There are also allegations that three 2006 World Cup winners – Gigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro and Gennaro Gattuso – are inveterate gamblers, with Buffon said to spend up to Euro 200,000 a month on his habit. However, the judge leading the inquiry has emphasised that gambling habits are only of interest to the enquiry if they involve the alteration of sporting results.
WSC claims that criminal organisations are behind the corruption scandal, and names one Almir Gegic, a 32-year-old Bosnian-born Turkish citizen who is currently in hiding.
"There are now 95 different bets that you can lay in a single match," WSC points out. "How on earth can that be controlled? It is madness. The TV programmes and newspapers that give the impression of carrying on as usual resemble more and more the orchestra that continued to play as the Titanic went down."