Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni insists he is innocent in the betting scandal. “They want to make me a scapegoat. They're hurling mud at my name.”
Doni has been named as one of the alleged masterminds behind a betting ring that implied match-fixing in Serie A, B and Lega Pro.
“They want to make me a scapegoat for the whole affair and I will not stand for it. I want the people, especially Atalanta fans, to know that,” he told La Repubblica newspaper.
“They are hurling mud at my name. My name and that of Atalanta are the strongest in a media sense, the ones that attract the biggest headlines. Other players arrested or under investigation are retired or smaller fry.
“I know that I haven't done anything that I've been accused of. I am also convinced the work of the magistrates will eventually prove I have nothing to do with these people, especially as I never met them. The only one I know is Nicola Santoni, the goalkeeping Coach at Ravenna.
“There is not a single phone call – not one – that regards me directly. My voice is never heard. It's only ever people using my name to get credibility, but I did not fix any game. Where is the proof?
“Besides which, many of the results of the games under investigation were not what the ‘ring' had expected.”
Newspapers continue to publish snippets of wiretapped phone calls and lists of games with unusual betting patterns.
The investigation is now spreading to Siena, Roma, Fiorentina, Genoa, Lecce, Napoli, Parma and Cagliari, although it is unclear how much actual evidence there is.