Center Stage in Italy Football Gambling Scandal

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
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Sandro Tonali has denied introducing fellow footballer Nicolo Fagioli to an illegal betting app that is center stage in an expansive sports betting probe tied to Italian football players.


The gambling app in question is, now offline. is another site used and was inaccessible Thursday.

Fagioli and Tonali are two of the first names revealed in a gambling probe that has sent shock waves through Italy football.  Some 40 individuals are believed to be under probe.

Fagioli said during his deposition that he owes gambling debts of €3.3m and claims creditors threatened to break his legs if he didn't pay.

Tonali spent almost three hours giving his deposition to the Turin prosecutor and is undergoing treatment for gambling addiction.  Both were deposed on October 12.  By October 17, Fagioli was handed a 12-month ban.

Both men were escorted on October 12 to see the police by Gianluigi Buffon in his new role as the national team’s head of delegation, along with Emiliano Cozzi and Mauro Vladovich, general secretaries of the team and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) respectively.

“It was a tough night,” Italy head coach Luciano Spalletti told Sky Italia. “When you have to bring home results (as Italy do against Malta and England as they fight to qualify for next summer’s finals in Germany), there’s always anxiety. But it was a different night with a lot of bitterness over what happened.

“The whole squad stands by Tonali and Zaniolo. We have to try to help them defend themselves but it is also right that justice takes its course and, if irregular things have been committed, then it’s right to pay for them.”

- Alistair Prescott,

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