Gennaro Gattuso and Cristian Brocchi saw their names linked with match-fixing on Monday after their houses were raided as part of the Calcio scommesse investigation.
Sky Sports confirmed the news:
According to Reuters via Eurosport, four men, none of whom are sportsmen, have been arrested in relation to the same operation on the grounds that they were alleged to be acting as intermediaries between players and those benefiting from the bets.
Sky Sports' Nadia Carminati has disclosed the names of the arrested quartet; Salvatore Spadaro, Francesco Bazzani, Cosimo Rinci and Fabio Quadri are each being accused of helping footballers and match-fixers make their initial acquaintances.
Both Gattuso and Brocchi are only recently retired, having officially hung up their boots earlier this year, the former last appearing for FC Sion while the latter's days ended with Lazio.
Gattuso's agent, Andrea D'Amico, reacted to news of the investigation via Eurosport: "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."
Gattuso spoke about the investigation in a television interview with Sport Mediaset (via Football Italia):
“I am angry and offended,” he told the television station. “I am calm about it – I am going to clear my name of everything.
“I do not want to have these marks on my career.
“I have never gambled in my life.”
Gattuso also had more strongly-worded comments (via John Brewin of ESPN):
Italy-based Mirko Corli hints that it could be a game between the two, from 2011, that is at the centre of the topic:
Gattuso has recently tried his hand, unsuccessfully, in management, taking over as helmsman at FC Sion and Palermo for a sum total of six months.
The Calcio scommesse scandal broke in 2011 and has touched upon figures both currently in the sport and retired, although all accusations are related to clubs playing below Serie A level at the time.
However, Roberto Di Martino, Cremona prosecutor and leader of the Last Bet operation since 2011, says—per the Associated Press' Andrew Dampf (h/t The Sacramento Bee)—that Serie A matches are now under investigation once more.
An extract from the Sky Sports report reads:
Cremona prosecutor Roberto Di Martino said that Gattuso and retired Lazio player Cristian Brocchi were allegedly part of a ring that fixed Serie A and other Italian matches at the end of the 2010-11 season.
It was during this time that both Gattuso and Brocchi were coming to the ends of their playing careers at Milan and Lazio respectively, each lasting another two fairly uninvolved campaigns.
It's a bad time for match-fixing within football, after it was announced by BBC News in late November that arrests had been made in relation to a scandal recently afflicting football in England, although none is thought to have occurred in the Premier League.
This isn't the first time that the offence of match-fixing has been an issue in Italy. Juventus, Lazio and Fiorentina were all punished with relegation in 2006 for their offences, as was then reported by the Daily Mail's Lee Clayton.
Right now there is nothing to apportion guilt to Gattuso and Brocchi, but their high-profile names will bring the public glare to the investigation.