Italy defender ruled out of Euro 2012 as match-fixing probe continues

Italy defender ruled out of Euro 2012 as match-fixing probe continues

Italy defender Domenico Criscito will not play at the European Championship as he is under investigation in the country's latest match-fixing scandal.

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) vice-president Demetrio Albertini announced this afternoon that the Zenit St Petersburg player will not be included in the travelling party for Euro 2012.

Criscito was questioned by police this morning at Italy's training headquarters in Coverciano, Florence, as part of an investigation carried out by Cremona prosecutors regarding a match-fixing probe.

"Criscito will not be with us at the European Championship," Albertini said in a press conference.

"He is in a hurry to end this current situation and that is his aim.

"He is disappointed to have caused this situation although he reiterates he has nothing to do with it."

Criscito, a former Genoa player, had been expected to be in Cesare Prandelli's 23-man roster for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

"We are disappointed but we have to remain close to the player," Albertini said. "The decision not to include Criscito is a collective decision.

"The Federation has given Prandelli its support over this decision.

"Arrests have been made today but until proven otherwise, we are talking about innocent people even though they are considered suspects.

"I know Domenico and he is incredulous.

"He is an extraordinary guy and he has already seen his lawyers this morning.

"It is a strange day for us.

"These are things that we would not like to have had to go through."

Albertini believes the latest scandal, which has seen former Italy international and current Lazio captain Stefano Mauri as well as former Genoa player Omar Milanetto arrested today as part of the investigation, will not hinder the Azzurri.

Italy won the 2006 World Cup in Germany despite having the cloud of a match-fixing scandal above the game at the time.

"I am not worried about the European Championship," he said. "I wasn't before and I am not now.

"I already went through the one of 2006.

"I only hope that it brings good luck just as it did back then.

"We have a solid squad made of genuine people."

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