An ever-growing illegal betting scandal continues to undermine the foundations of Italian football, with Juventus up-and-comer Nicolo Fagioli at the thick of it.
After Italian investigators grilled Newcastle United’s Sandro Tonali and West Ham United’s Nicolo Zaniolo over unlawful betting, it’s Fagioli’s turn to pay for his wrongdoings.
Gossip columnist Fabrizio Corona has accused the 22-year-old of owing a substantial amount of money to underground bookmakers in Rome.
Corona is adamant the Juventus prodigy has a significant €70,000 gambling debt to an illegal bookie, intensifying the extreme pressure on the youngster.
“I know Fagioli owes a lot of money too,” Corona said, as quoted by Calciomercato.
“I assure you it’s not just organised crime that runs betting rings in Rome. A singer and DJ, who is rather famous, is a very important bookie in the capital.
“I know that he has players who gamble and that Fagioli now owes him €70,000.”
Fagioli’s senior career at Juventus is only just taking off, so facing legal charges for arguably the worst ‘offence’ that can happen to a footballer was the last thing he needed.
However, the Italian must weather the storm of his own making, with Zaniolo’s latest comments not playing into his hands.
“I don’t bet, at least not on football – I played on online platforms that I didn’t know were illegal, but poker or blackjack,” the Italy international said, as relayed by Gazzetta dello Sport.
Zaniolo and Tonali are in the same boat, but Fagioli’s situation is more complicated, with a formal investigation for his alleged involvement in illegal betting on gambling sites already underway.
The severity of the consequences awaiting the youngster remains unclear. However, as more information comes to light, the situation seems grim for the Juventus midfielder.
The ongoing illegal betting saga could put the Serie A outfit in harm’s way further down the line, with the Bianconeri already blamed for failing to report the matter when they initially learned about it.
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