Domenico Criscito has criticised the decision to drop him from Italy’s Euro 2012 squad after he was placed under investigation in the match fixing probe.
The defender had his room at Italy’s training base searched by police on Monday morning and was subsequently omitted from Cesare Prandelli’s 23-man party.
“I have not done anything wrong in my life,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m not going to be a scapegoat for situations that have nothing to do with me.
“Perhaps the Italian Football Federation should have read the order and verified that I’m not a part of this. I was shocked by what happened, but I was ready to go to the championship.
“The prosecutors told my lawyers that I would not be questioned anytime soon. I was told that there would be no problem in me taking part in the competition.”
Since being named as part of the betting probe, a photo has emerged of Criscito meeting with a number of other men under investigation.
“The photograph is one from a year ago,” he defended. “I could have been asked about it a lot sooner.
“It was after the derby against Sampdoria. I was told that the fans wanted to talk to us about our [Genoa’s] performance.
“While I was there I met Giuseppe Sculli and a man who I did not know. I spoke to the fans, I assured them that we gave it our all in the game and I went home. Is a photo enough to prove something illegal?”
While the Zenit St Petersburg full-back was axed from Euro 2012, Italy have included Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci despite the fact that he’s also under investigation – although he has received no official note from the authorities.
“We both should have gone,” Criscito continued. “Receiving an official notification that you are under investigation doesn’t mean you are guilty.”