The Italian betting scandal hearings are in full swing, and these are nail-biting times for Montreal Impact designated player Marco Di Vaio. The former Bologna forward and captain is being accused of having failed to report a match fixing attempt and the native of Rome appeared in the final day of his court hearings on Saturday in the Italian capital.
“I am emotional, because I am playing one of the most important matches of my life, if not the most important,” said Di Vaio at the Disciplinary Commission.
Several matches from the last few seasons in Serie A are under suspicion of tampering. One of these games was on May 22, 2011, when Bologna lost to Bari at home by a score of 4-0 on the final day of the season.
Prosecutor Stefano Palazzi has asked the court that Di Vaio receive a one-year ban, one that would be imposed throughout FIFA. Palazzi claims that Di Vaio was told about the fixing attempt by former Bari defender Andrea Masiello and Bologna defender Daniele Portanova.
“There was contact between Andrea Masiello and Danielle Portanova,” said Palazzi on Friday. “Neither side had any interest in getting results for the table, as Bologna was safe and Bari already relegated.
“Portanova had a second meeting with Masiello and his partners to conclude the sporting fraud, but first he had to ask captain [Marco] Di Vaio. Once Di Vaio said no to the fix, Portanova re-called them to say the fix was off.”
Di Vaio denied that he had ever had contact with Portanova regarding a potential fix, especially because the two had had a falling out and were no longer speaking to each other. He did admit that Masiello had his phone number from having played with him at Genoa, but that they also had never spoken to one another.
“There is only one certainty, which is that I played with Andrea Masiello for six months at Genoa,” said Di Vaio. “He never referred to me in this situation and he could easily have done so, seeing as he has my phone number and it hasn’t changed. He never contacted me, and he made no mention of me in his testimony."
Di Vaio concluded by saying that the allegations against him were devoid of truth and that the whole trial was based on speculation alone.
“I talk about certainties, because so far all I’ve heard from prosecutor Stefano Palazzi are doubts and allegations,” said Di Vaio. “I cannot prove or disprove any of it. I ask only for certainties. I am a father; I have to look to my family and my employers. If I have to end my career, then I need to receive certainties and truth.
“Giving up football, which is my life, would be torture for me. I don’t want doubts and accusations based on hypotheses. My only crime here was being the captain, which seems crazy to me. Palazzi has only doubts right now. That’s all I have to say, thank you.”
The final verdict will be made next week.
Follow GOAL.COM CANADA on Twitter