Gennaro Gattuso dramatically proclaimed his innocence of match-fixing charges. “I’d kill myself in the town square.”
The former Milan midfield and ex-Palermo Coach saw his house raided by police this morning as part of an investigation into betting syndicates in Italy.
“I want to clarify something: in my life I have never sat down with anyone to fix games, nor have I ever thought to, as I wouldn’t even know where to start,” he told Sport Mediaset.
“I am prepared to go into the town square and kill myself in front of everyone if I should be found guilty of such a crime. After all, my life would be meaningless from that point on. I wouldn’t have the courage to look anyone in the eye. I say that from the heart.
“I don’t even play five-a-side football with my friends because I can’t stand losing. The phone records show Bazzani sent me 13 text messages. They will therefore also show I never replied to any of them. This man knows half of Serie A, he came to the Milanello gates like many hundreds of others. He was a bookmaker in Bologna, but I never talked about fixing games.
“Match-fixing is just not part of who I am. I made some bets when it was still allowed, but as soon as it was barred for professionals, I stopped. No problem.
“I am accused not of placing bets, but of fixing games and I can’t understand how they can do that. I was in Naples, so only found out about the raid from my wife this morning, after police took me in to sign some papers. I hope the magistrate calls me in soon because I want to clarify my position.
“I had also been dragged into this affair two years ago. I am convinced and fully aware of my innocence. I spent my entire career working hard. I have a foundation that allowed me to give away €1.5m to help children and then people suggest I fixed games to earn more? It just doesn’t make sense.”