Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

FIFA scandal snares coach, Lazio captain

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PARMA, Italy -- The match-fixing scandal that has rocked Italian football over the past year implicated the coach of Serie A champion Juventus on Monday and ensured at least one player won't be at the European Championship.

Police swept through the Italian national squad's training camp near Florence as part of a wide-ranging investigation into fixing that resulted in 14 arrests on Monday -- including Lazio captain Stefano Mauri -- to bring the total number arrested to about 50 since last year.

The Italian football federation later said Juventus coach Antonio Conte is under investigation for alleged wrongdoing while in charge of Siena in 2010-2011, and announced the withdrawal of defender Domenico Criscito from the Euro 2012 squad a day before the player lists have to be submitted to UEFA.

"He would have experienced a pressure that no human being can deal with," Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said of Criscito playing at the June 8 to July 1 tournament. "He wouldn't have been in the right frame of mind. And he could also have been called up by the prosecutors at any time, before a match."

Conte denied any wrongdoing.

"My story speaks clearly for itself," he said. "I've always showed moral integrity, honesty, fairness in every situation, whether as a player or a coach. I am completely innocent of any of this, as are my players.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 29, 2012 C4

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