Wednesday morning in Italy brought the news Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli was being investigated for illegal online betting. It didn’t take long after the news came out that Fagioli’s legal representation not only confirmed that the 22-year-old Juve youth product is being investigated but also turned himself in to the Turin Prosecutor’s Office.
There’s been a lot thrown out there over the last 36 hours — including two other Italian footballers, Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo, being questioned at Coverciano — and it’s hard to truly know what is right and what is just the Italian media being the Italian media.
One report, however, is the one that is sticking out the most.
According to Sportmediaset and Corriere della Sera on Thursday, Fagioli has reportedly self-reported himself and has since told investigators that the depths of his gambling problem goes to the point where he has bet on football in the past. Fagioli, however, reportedly said that said betting did not involve teams that he was currently playing for or had played for in the past — be it Juventus’ senior or Next Gen squads or Cremonese during his time in Serie B.
Fagioli ammette: «Ho scommesso sul calcio». La difesa può puntare sulla ludopatia https://t.co/yHtJexZAiT— Corriere della Sera (@Corriere) October 12, 2023
Now, we will caveat all of this with the fact that this admission of Fagioli betting on football is alleged and simply based on these two media outlets. As of right now, we don’t know if the reported admission is fact or if it’s just the Italian media very much swarming and trying to take advantage of everything swirling around Juventus again.
But you gotta admit, the optics of this don’t look good. Even if it’s a fraction of what has been thrown out there, it doesn’t look very good.
As guidelines for players, coaches and staff members state, those individuals are prohibited form gambling on games organized by the FIGC, FIFA or UEFA even if it is does through legal platforms. That basically means that pretty much anything that the normal citizen like you and I can bet on through those same legal channels is off limits for professional footballers.
Fagioli’s legal team issued the following statement Wednesday:
“As lawyers for Nicolò Fagioli, we can confirm that our client is facing the situation with a sense of responsibility, with utmost transparency and collaboration with the sporting and civil justice authorities.
“This is confirmed by the fact he was first to swiftly inform the prosecutor of the situation. Nicolò is calm and fully concentrated on Juventus and this season.”
(Source: Football Italia)
Fagioli’s legal team could, according to Corriere della Sera, base their defense on the fact that the young Italian is very much dealing with a gambling addiction and that he has also gone on to try and resolve potential debts with more and more betting — via gambling on sports or through poker — since his days in the Juventus youth sector.