Friday, 29 December 2006

Buffon to be cleared?

Gianluigi Buffon is reportedly set to be cleared of any wrongdoing in the FIGC’s betting investigation.

Sources claim that Federal Prosecutor Federico Palazzi will not go ahead with charges against the Juve ‘keeper as the alleged bets he made were placed before November 2005.

Buffon has never denied betting on sporting events prior to then, but has always insisted that he stopped once new rules were brought into place to prevent players from making such bets.

The allegations cropped up just before the World Cup and it was thought that then Azzurri boss Marcello Lippi would drop the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.

Instead he stuck by his man and was rewarded with some world-class displays which led La Nazionale to the trophy in Germany.

Indeed, Buffon’s performances were so impressive that he was widely-tipped to win the Balon d’Or award before being pipped by Fabio Cannavaro.

Meanwhile, similar allegations concerning Cagliari goalkeeper Antonio Chimenti, Sevilla midfielder Enzo Maresca and Messina defender Mark Iuliano – all former Juve teammates of Buffon – are also set to end.

An official FIGC statement is expected sometime in the next 24 hours.

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