The lawyer for Lazio midfielder Stefan Mauri has defended his client.
The midfielder was arrested in a dawn raid on Monday as the investigation into a betting and match-fixing scandal developed.
“Mauri was afraid of compromising his reputation by looking like a gambler, so he asked his friend Luca Aureli to place bets on the NBA and tennis in privacy,” explained lawyer Simone Colangeli.
It is only illegal for football players to place bets on their own sport, so Mauri would be breaking no rules.
“In order to organise those bets, Mauri received from Aureli a SIM card bought by his girlfriend, Samanta Romano.
“It seems obvious that, if there were illegal reasons behind it, Aureli would not have handed over a SIM card that was so easy to trace back to him.
“The phone calls with the Lazio captain were frequent because they are close friends. Any rapport with the betting syndicate is denied and police can clearly see there were no anomalous betting patterns at the agency he used.”