Doni faces CAS hearing into match-fixing

AP, Wednesday 11 Jan 2012

The Court of Arbitration for Sport will question Atalanta and former captain Cristiano Doni on Jan. 18 in Rome over their roles in the latest Italian match-fixing scandal


Doni was among 16 people arrested across Italy last month in an ongoing investigation into match-fixing and illegal betting on games, and he reiterated his culpability when he was questioned by a state prosecutor on Wednesday.

A note on the Italian Olympic Committee website said “regarding the two controversies between Atalanta and the Italian federation and Cristiano Doni and the Italian Federation” CAS has informed it of the “need to discuss the means and schedule pertaining to the case.”

Doni spent five days in solitary confinement in December before being released on house arrest.

The footballer admitted to helping change at least one of the games in question—Atalanta’s 3-0 win over Piacenza—in an initial hearing but reiterated Wednesday that he only did so to help his team and not for personal gain, adding “I’m not a corrupt player.”

“He never did anything against his team,” Doni lawyer Salvatore Pino said, according to Italian news agency ANSA. “He’s not a corrupt player. He’s not someone who sold games, but someone who always played to win.

“Doni wants to collaborate with the investigation and he has done so and I think that’s pleased the prosecutor. New events were also discussed today which were not talked about in the initial hearing.”

In June, 16 people were arrested as part of the first wave of the inquiry, and Doni was then placed under investigation.

Doni said at the time that he was innocent but in August he was banned from football for 3 1/2 years by the Italian football federation’s disciplinary committee, and Atalanta—which was promoted to Serie A for this season—was given a six-point penalty.

Most of the suspect games involve Serie B or lower league teams, but three Serie A matches from last season are also under investigation: Brescia vs. Bari; Brescia vs. Lecce; and Napoli vs. Sampdoria.

“Some technical checks we have made have given us confirmation on the suspicion we had about some games in the center of the investigation, including those of Serie A,” state prosecutor Roberto Di Martino said after Doni’s hearing, according to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

The latest arrests come five years after another major match-fixing scandal — restricted to club and referee officials but not players—resulted in Juventus getting relegated to Serie B for a season, plus point penalties for Lazio, AC Milan, Fiorentina and Reggina in Serie A.

The prosecutors in Cremona, who are leading the current investigation, have detailed an extensive match-fixing ring stretching as far as Singapore and South America and that has allegedly been in operation for more than 10 years.

A phone call was reportedly intercepted between Doni and Ravenna goalkeeping coach Nicola Santoni—who was also arrested—in which the pair discuss tampering with Santoni’s iPhone, which had been confiscated by police in June.

Doni was arrested on suspicion of attempting to destroy evidence.

Others arrested last month include former Inter Milan and Roma player Luigi Sartor, former Serie B player Alessandro Zamperini and active players Carlo Gervasoni of Piacenza and Filippo Carobbio of Spezia.

 (For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports ‎on Twitter: @AO_Sports).

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