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Italian Football Center of Betting Scanda

13 May 2004

Italian police yesterday raided the headquarters of 12 football clubs, four from the top Serie A league, in an investigation into illegal betting and match fixing. At least five players, a convicted Mafia boss, and a prominent Naples councilman are among the thirteen people who have been named in the investigation so far.

Police claim to have recorded tapped telephone conversations that indicate that some matches from the country's A, B and C leagues may have been fixed to give an advantage to illegal bettors. One particular conversation occurred between two players-- striker Nicola Ventola, and midfielder Roberto D'Aversa-- from premier league team AC Siena. The two apparently discussed the correct results of the first, second, and third division championship games before they had even taken place. AC Siena's former goalie, Generoso Rossi, who left the club on April 6th after disputes with the coach, has also been implicated.

The team has suspended Ventola and D'Aversa from play, though it later defended them in official statements. According to the team, "They have been suspended so they can be free to defend their innocence."

Three other Seire A clubs, Chievo Verona, Lecce and Reggina, in addition to eight clubs form Serie A and B, were also visited by police yesterday. AC Siena's president Paolo De Luca confirmed that documents had been seized from his club, but the other organizations stated that police took no documents from their offices. The raid prompted the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) to launch a parallel investigation of its own based on the information it obtained from Naples prosecutors.

FIGC president Franco Carraro said, "I hope the investigation will show that our members have behaved legally; and if that is not the case, suitable punishment should be taken."

He added, "The investigation department of FIGC has already started to carry out its investigation: the sports justice system will take all appropriate measures regarding those members who have any sort of responsibility in this matter."

Filippo Beatrice and Giuseppe Narducci, the chief investigators of the police investigation, described the alleged illegal betting ring as "a well-structured organization that sought to fix the outcome of matches in order to make big wins."

The Neaplitan Camorra, a crime organization that competes with Italy's state Lotto betting on football by providing wagers of its own, is believed to be at the head of the scandal, and one individual named in the probe, Giacomo Cavalcanti, is a convicted Mafia boss with ties to the Camorra.

Another individual, 51-year old bank clerk Antonio Di Dio is thought to have played a pivotal role in the match-fixing operation. Di Dio is a well-known Naples district councilman in the Forza Italia party. Investigators Beatrice and Narducci said Di Dio had been in close contact with Siena players Cavalcanti and Rossi and had organized "frequent agreements set up to rig the outcome of football matches."

Italian football was last rocked by betting and match-fixing scandal in 1980 when 11 players and two top clubs were accused of accepting money to influence the outcome of matches. Although all the 11 players were arrested but later acquitted by a court of law, an independent soccer tribunal was created and it administered several three to six month suspensions.

Italian Football Center of Betting Scanda is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Bradley Vallerius

Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials.

Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

Bradley Vallerius Websites:

www.FortheBettorGood.com
Bradley Vallerius
Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials.

Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

Bradley Vallerius Websites:

www.FortheBettorGood.com