Report: Player admits to betting on fixed games

Former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni reportedly said he bet on

fixed soccer games in Serie B in Italy involving his club. He

stressed that he agreed to go along with the scam because his team

was not supposed to lose.

Doni was among 16 people arrested across Italy on Monday in an

investigation into match-fixing and illegal betting on games.

After five days of solitary confinement, Doni was permitted to

meet with his lawyer Friday and was then questioned by

prosecutors.

”Yes, I knew about the fix for Atalanta-Piacenza. I gave my

approval and I bet,” Doni is quoted as saying by Saturday’s

Gazzetta dello Sport. ”I also tried to do the same thing for the

match with Ascoli. But they were all personal initiatives, I’m not

part of any organization. … The club didn’t know anything.”

Atalanta beat Piacenza 3-0 and the Ascoli-Atalanta match

finished 1-1. Details have not yet emerged as to precisely what

Doni did in the fixed games.

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 he was innocent, but in August was banned

from soccer for 3 1/2 years by the Italian soccer federation.

Atalanta, promoted to Serie A for this season, was penalized six

points.

”I said yes to the fixes because Atalanta benefited,” Doni

told the Gazzetta. ”I would have never listened to anyone who

offered me money to make my squad lose. I made a mistake and now I

can’t even look at myself in the mirror because it makes me think

about all the pain I’ve caused my family and the fans.

”The relegation to Serie B hurt me and that’s why I accepted

these offers,” Doni added. ”By winning we were sure to be

promoted.”

The latest arrests come five years after another major

match-fixing scandal – restricted to club and referee officials but

not players – resulted in Juventus’ relegation 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.

Three Serie A matches from last season are also under

investigation: Brescia vs. Bari, Brescia vs. Lecce and Napoli vs.

Sampdoria.

Others arrested Monday 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.