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Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Lazio: Mauri will prove his innocence

ESPN staff

Serie A side Lazio have released a statement suppporting club captain Stefano Mauri in the face of match-fixing accusations.

Mauri, 32, was one of 19 people arrested in connection with a probe by Cremona prosecutors and held in connection with "criminal association and sporting fraud charges".

The arrests were part of operation 'Last Bet' which has focused on 33 games over the past two seasons, of which the majority were in Serie B.

Earlier this month, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) published a 48-page list naming 22 clubs and 61 individuals that have been reported to the football authorities in connection with a match-fixing ring and betting investigation.

A statement from Lazio read: "SS Lazio, in view of the action taken by the justice authorities of Cremona regarding player Stefano Mauri, wishes to express maximum respect for the work being carried out by the judges and the investigators in the interest of football. It trusts that the player will prove his innocence regarding the allegations he is being accused of.''

Italy defender Domenico Criscito was another caught up in the investigation, having been taken in for police questioning. The Zenit St Petersburg defender was omitted from Italy's final squad for Euro 2012 in order for the defender to clear his name.

Daniele De Rossi, who was a member of the World Cup winning squad in 2006, says that this incident has hit him harder than the previous allegations.

"This time is worse than in 2006, at least for me. This time is more shocking as the police came to Coverciano and people I know have been arrested,'' De Rossi told reporters.

"We hope it will be fast and that drastic punishments are handed out to those individuals that have stained a world that should focus on credibility and transparency."

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