Genoa defender Armando Izzo denies any involvement in the Serie B match-fixing scandal: 'I didn't even play'.
Italian football is once again being disgraced as 10 have been arrested over two fixed matches in Serie B, Modena-Avellino and Avellino-Reggina.
“I've read these news which affiliate me to matters which I'm actually completely alien to,” said Izzo in his defence, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I am a footballer and I never even considered the idea of fixing a match.
“I wish to specify that in the two games under examination, Modena-Avellino and Avellino-Reggina, I was injured and did not play.
“I have complete faith in the judiciary powers and I'm certain I'll be able to clear my position.”
Izzo comes from a background of Neapolitan poverty, having grown up in a neighbourhood that has long been beset with crime and drugs-dealing. According to the Gazzetta, his uncle Salvatore Petriccione is a crime lord and his brother Gennaro is involved with the mafia.
The 24-year-old very nearly gave up on football when his father died at the age of 13, and he considered working to help out his mother and four younger brothers.
Izzo's career took off as he successfully earned his place in Genoa and, recently, among the Azzurri, but now risks a tremendous set-back.
“Armando is a cheerful lad, an important player and the soul of our changing room,” said the Rossoblu President Enrico Preziosi. “We'll protect him in every possible way.”