Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 18th 2013 Contents A52
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, December 18, 2013
ROME---Former AC Milan mid-
fielder Gennaro Gattuso, one of
the key players in Italy s World
Cup-winning team in 2006, was
placed under investigation for
match-fixing yesterday as a
widening inquiry into football cor-
ruption targeted Milan s last title
Four others were arrested in an
early morning police sweep.
Cremona prosecutor Roberto Di
Martino, who has been leading the
Last Bet operation for three years,
said that Gattuso and retired Milan
and 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
"About 30 matches, a good part
of them involving Serie A, are under
investigation," Di Martino said.
Gattuso said he was "angry and
"This stuff is absurd and incred-
ible," Gattuso said. "I don t even
know what it means to fix a match,
I wouldn t know where to start.
Let s see what happens now but
I m certain that everything will be
Brocchi s agent, Davide Lippi,
said his client was innocent.
The four people arrested were
Salvatore Spadaro, Francesco Baz-
zani, Cosimo Rinci and Fabio
Quadri. Each of them allegedly
helped connect fixers to players, Di
Martino said of the case that has
seen more than 50 people arrested
Di Martino said a couple of the
people arrested yesterday met as
recently as this year, suggesting
matches continue to be fixed.
"We re seeing clear facts that
despite the arrests and investiga-
tions a good part of these people
continue to do what they did
before," Di Martino said later in a
news conference, lamenting that
past arrests have not made much
of an impact.
"There certainly were not big
reactions in Italy, considering that
things continue to go on like before,"
the prosecutor added.
Gattuso and Brocchi face charges
of criminal association with the
aim of fraud and sports fraud, and
had their homes searched. About
20 other people were also placed
Gattuso and Brocchi were con-
nected to the case by the use of
phone taps, Di Martino said.
Gattuso, who won two Cham-
pions League titles with Milan, was
fired as Palermo coach in Septem-
ber. Brocchi is currently coaching
in AC Milan s youth programme.
Police said in a statement that the
arrests were carried out in Milan,
Bologna, Rimini and Messina.
Other former and current players
placed under investigation included
Claudio Bellucci, Davide Bombar-
dini, Leonardo Colucci, Lorenzo
D Anna, Nicola Mingazzini, Claudio
Terzi, Samuele Olivi and Fabrizio
The Gazzetta dello Sport reported
that Milan matches against Lazio,
Chievo Verona and Bari in February
and March 2011 were under inves-
tigation, plus games involving
Juventus and Inter Milan.
Milan won its last Serie A title
The Last Bet operation has
resulted in more than 100 people
placed under investigation in Italy
since mid-2011, with suspect
matches being looked at by pros-
ecutors in Cremona, Bari and
The case has led to lengthy bans
for former Lazio captains Giuseppe
Signori and Stefano Mauri, as well
as former Atalanta captain Cristiano
Doni. Several clubs have also had
points deducted. (AP)
SAO PAULO---Despite the latest
death, World Cup organisers in
Brazil said yesterday they aren t
sacrificing worker safety in a rush
to get venues ready for next year s
A labourer fell 35 metres to his
death on Saturday in the jungle
city of Manaus at the Arena Ama-
zonia, one of Brazil s venues that
have slipped behind schedule. This
was the second death there in less
than a year, and the fifth at a World
Cup venue in the past two years.
Ron DelMont, the managing
director of Fifa s World Cup Brazil
office, and Deputy Sports Minister
Luis Fernandes said safety isn t
being compromised for speed.
"There is never a discussion that
says you have to cut any corners
to make sure that you deliver the
stadium," DelMont said.
DelMont said Fifa has "at no
point" suggested loosening its safe-
ty requirements and "everything
that we ask for is within the leg-
islation and the guidelines of the
"I have to say it s a bit frustrating
to make that kind of suggestion
that the event is much more
important than the safety of the
workers, because it s not only the
safety of the workers, it s the safety
of the spectators," he said. "So we
don t compromise at all."
Fernandes, speaking in the same
interview, said he s "pretty sure"
that accident rates on World Cup
venues are "well under" those in
other sectors of Brazilian construc-
"It s a tragedy for all of us but
I would not credit that to any
undue pressure," Fernandes said
of the death in Manaus. "There
are accidents that are involved
when you have so many thousands
He noted that the construction
companies at nearly all stadiums
"are very experienced" and global.
He promised "full punishment
under the rule of law" for any firm
that violates Brazil s "very strict,
rigid, firm, labour protection laws."
Two workers were killed when
a crane collapsed on November 27
as it was hoisting a 500-ton piece
of roofing at the stadium in Sao
Paulo that will host the World Cup
opener. Last year, a worker died
at the construction site of the sta-
dium in Brasilia. The other death
in Manaus happened in March.
The most delayed stadium is
expected to be Sao Paulo, where
construction is to finish April 15,
followed by matches to test the
arena. Among other venues, the
west-central city of Cuiaba also
stands out because so much sup-
porting infrastructure is still being
worked on. For now, travelers there
land at an airport bustling with
construction, take a road half
ripped up for promised tramlines
and arrive at a stadium where the
roof and facades aren t finished,
which has no seats, with red earth
turning gooey with the rainy sea-
son, and where the muddy field
was only recently seeded.
"Cuiaba is a construction site,"
Fernandes said. "But I think from
the government perspective that s
a very good situation because it
won t be a construction site for
the World Cup." (AP)
LONDON---Arsenal midfielder Jack
Wilshere was charged by the English
Football Association yesterday for
making an abusive gesture toward
Manchester City fans during a Pre-
mier League match.
Television cameras spotted the Eng-
land international raising his middle
finger in the direction of City sup-
porters in the 69th minute of Satur-
day s game at Etihad Stadium, which
Arsenal lost 6-3.
The incident wasn t seen by match
officials but the FA has charged
Wilshere retrospectively "with making
an offensive and/or insulting and/or
abusive gesture" after a three-man
panel studied video footage.
"For an FA charge to follow, all three
panel members must agree it is a
sending-off offence," the governing
body said in a statement. "In this
instance, the panel were unanimous."
Wilshere has until today to respond
to the charge. He is facing a one-
match ban, the punishment Liverpool
striker Luis Suarez received for the
same offense during a league game
at Fulham in December 2011.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
said after the City match that he didn t
see Wilshere s gesture but added "if
he did it, we will have to accept it."
Arsenal has a two-point lead at the
top of the Premier League over Liv-
erpool and Chelsea. (AP)
Gattuso now targeted as
Italian fixing inquiry widens
After accidents, World Cup
organisers defend record
Wilshere charged for
abusive gesture to City fans
MADRID---Real Madrid forward
Gareth Bale will miss today s Copa
del Rey match after hurting his leg
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says
Bale received "a knock on his thigh
and won t be available" for the match
against third-division club Xativa
Olimpic. The two teams drew 0-0 in
the first leg.
Ancelotti says Bale "didn t play
well" in Madrid s 2-2 draw at Osasuna
in the Spanish league on Saturday,
but that he has "complete confidence"
in the Welshman.
Madrid will also be without defend-
er Sergio Ramos.
Ancelotti says he won t start Cris-
tiano Ronaldo or Karim Benzema,
once again relying on reserve players
who failed to score against Olimpic
in the opening leg. (AP)
Gareth Bale to miss Madrid's
Copa del Rey match
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