Italy defender Domenico Criscito has withdrawn from the country’s Euro 2012 squad after becoming the subject of a match-fixing investigation.
Criscito, who currently plays for Zenit St Petersburg in Russia but has played for Juventus and Genoa in the past, had his room searched at Italy’s Coverciano training camp after police arrived at 6.40am on Monday morning.
Italian federation vice-president Demetrio Albertini has now confirmed that the defender will not travel to the finals in Poland and Ukraine as he wants to “clear his position with prosecutors”.
“It has been a decision agreed between (coach Cesare) Prandelli and the federation,” Albertini told reporters.
“He (Criscito) was also sorry for the repercussions on the national team and on the dressing room. He explained some things to me and I believe his version and in his innocence.”
Criscito, who prosecutors allege was photographed in a restaurant with match-fixing suspects while still a Genoa player, told reporters:
“I have nothing to do with this. I was only out for dinner with some Genoa fans”.
Italian police investigating a football match-fixing scandal also placed Juventus boss Antonio Conte under investigation and arrested the captain of Lazio Stefano Mauri and former Genoa midfielder Omar Milanetto, authorities said on Monday.
Monday’s operation was part of “Last Bet”, a wider investigation into match-fixing in Italian soccer which has already seen a number of arrests of current and former Italian players.
“In this part of the investigation, indications have emerged of manipulation in matches from the 2010-11 Serie A championship, including games between Lazio and Genoa and Lecce and Lazio,” Raffale Grassi,
director of SCO, the police service responsible for the investigation told SkyTG24 television.