Italian police investigating a widening soccer match-fixing scandal placed Juventus trainer Antonio Conte under investigation and arrested SS Lazio captain Stefano Mauri in a probe that also targeted Italy defender Domenico Criscito.
Police also visited Coverciano, the Italian national team headquarters where the Azzurri were preparing for a friendly match with Luxembourg today 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 last year.
Police in the northern city of Cremona said they had made 19 arrests and were investigating Conte, fresh from leading Juventus to the Serie A title 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 AC Siena and Novara Calcio in April last year.
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.
Yesterday’s operation was part of “Last Bet,” a wider investigation into match-fixing which has already seen a number of arrests.
“In this part of the investigation, indications have emerged of manipulation in matches from the 2010-2011 Serie A championship, including games between Lazio and Genoa, and Lecce and Lazio,” Raffale Grassi, director the police service responsible for the investigation, told SkyTG24 television.
Former Atalanta BC captain and Italy midfielder Cristiano Doni was banned for three-and-a-half years in August last year for his part in the “Calcioscommesse” match-fixing scandal involving Serie B matches last season. Former SS Lazio and Italy forward Giuseppe Signori was banned for five years, while 15 other players were banned for between one and five years in the same scandal.