Summer just ain’t summer any more without a bit of Italian football scandal. And there is plenty going on at the moment. Four players, including Italian international David di Michele, have been charged with illegal betting. The Palermo player, along with Atalanta’s Thomas Manfredini and Vicenza’s Massimo Margiotta, is accused of betting ‘directly or through third parties, on the results of official matches organised by the FIGC.’
Vincenzo Sommese, of Mantova, was charged with betting on matches organised by FIFA, UEFA or the FIGC. Clubs Vicenza and Udinese – Di Michele’s former club – have also been charged. The charges are the result of an investigation into a betting ring run by an illegal bookmaker. Players face bans of between three months and three years if found guilty.
Meanwhile, Messina goalkeeper Nicholas Caglioni has been banned from football for two years after testing positive for cocaine. The 24-year-old was suspended in March after failing a drugs test after the Sicilian derby with Catania in February. Caglioni claims the failed test was a one-off incident in a nightclub (it is funny how so many footballers endup facing random tests after one-off incidents…). Messina were relegated from Serie A (as you would be with a coked up keeper!). Last week Sampdoria striker Francesco Flachi received the same punishment after taking cocaine.