More than a dozen Serie A players could be implicated in latest scandal to hit Italian soccer
MILAN (AP) — More than a dozen Serie A players could be implicated in the latest scandal to hit Italian soccer.
Juventus midfielder Nicolò Fagioli and Premier League players Sandro Tonali and Nicolò Zaniolo already have been questioned as part of an investigation by prosecutors in Turin into betting online via unauthorized websites.
Italian media reported Friday that at least another dozen players could be involved, including a teammate of Fagioli at Juventus.
Tonali and Zaniolo were questioned by police at Italy’s training camp ahead of upcoming European Championship qualifying matches. They subsequently left the national team’s headquarters.
All three of the players have had their phones and tablets confiscated. They could face lengthy bans.
Zaniolo, who is on loan at Aston Villa from Galatasaray, has returned to England and reportedly said he played blackjack on a website that he was unaware was illegal but that he has never bet on soccer matches.
Tonali went to Milan to consult with his legal team. The forward joined Newcastle from AC Milan in the offseason.
Roma forward Stephan El Shaarawy was called up to the Italy squad on Friday, two-and-a-half years after he last played for the national team. Italy hosts Malta on Saturday and then visits England three days later.
Italian soccer has been mired in scandal before.
In 2006, the year Italy won its fourth World Cup, the “Calciopoli” refereeing scandal saw Juventus stripped of two Serie A titles and relegated to the second division as punishment.
Shortly before the start of Euro 2012, police carried out dawn raids at the national team's Coverciano training center as part of a wide-ranging betting scandal known as Calcioscommesse.
Italy defender Domenico Criscito was dropped from the squad for the tournament. Antonio Conte, who was Juventus coach at the time, was charged but later acquitted.
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