The revelation that Gennaro Gattuso, the former AC Milan star, is being investigated for match fixing hit soccer like a ton of bricks yesterday. While match-fixing and scandals have become commonplace in Italian soccer, Gattuso would be perhaps the biggest name to be linked with this sort of investigation.
Gattuso’s agent, Andrea D’Amico, told Eurosport.com early yesterday:
“Rino was out and now he has come back home. We need to wait to understand more. His lawyers are in contact with the prosecutor.”
Later in the day, Gattuso spoke to ESPNFC’s John Brewin and said
“These claims are false. If I’m found guilty I’ll go into the town piazza and kill myself.”
These revelations come just weeks after English football was rocked first by the arrest of Delroy Facey and then more significantly by the arrest of DJ Campbell and others. While the English FA has acknowledged the problem, they have been aggressive in stating that these issues of match fixing are isolated.
However, evidence uncovered by Canadian journalist Declan Hill, whom I interviewed last month, demonstrates that these incidents tend to not be isolated and more often than not involve veteran players.
Whether the Gattuso revelations prove to be well-founded or not, the trend is clear. Match fixing is becoming a bigger issue in European soccer and it is about time the football authorities take a more open stand on the matter rather than just relying on law enforcement.