Former AC Milan and Italy mid-fielder Gennaro Gattuso has denied his role in match-fixing and chose a dramatic way to express himself after being placed under investigation. "I'm angry and offended. I have never gambled in my life. If something was proven I would be willing to go out into the street and - I know this is a strong thing to say - I would kill myself," Gatusso said. (Click here for more on football news)
Cremona prosecutor Roberto Di Martino told Associated Press that Gattuso and retired Milan and Lazio player Cristian Brocchi were allegedly part of a group that fixed Serie A and other matches at the end of the 2010-11 season. A wide-ranging criminal and sporting probe into illegal betting and match-fixing in Italy has already led to several arrests and bans, according to reports. Gattuso is suspected of "associating with criminals with intent to commit sporting fraud". (Also read: Messis and drug money? No way, say Barcelona)
Gatusso won two Serie A titles and two Champions League crowns during his 13-year spell with Milan. He also won the 2006 World Cup with Italy in Germany. Gattuso took charge of Palermo in the summer after being sacked by Swiss side Sion but won just two games and was sacked.
According to investigators, Gattuso and Brocchi, now a youth team coach at AC Milan, both had telephone contacts with Francesco Bazzani, one of the people arrested Monday. Gattuso received 13 text messages, never answered and never talked via phone with Bazzani, who had a stronger connection with Salvatore Pipieri, Gattuso's friend and factotum. "Gattuso and Brocchi were connected to the case by the use of phone taps," said Di Martino.
According to Thursday's La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian police seized a diary owned by a Chinese man under investigations, Qiu Wangyi. The diary should contain the names of many players and executives that used to bet on fixed games.