The presidents of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and Italian FA (FIGC) have backed Gennaro Gattuso to prove his innocence amid allegations of match-fixing.
On Tuesday, former Italy international Gattuso was named as one of a group of former and current footballers drawn into an ongoing investigation into match-fixing in the country. The former Rangers and AC Milan midfielder has pleaded his innocence and CONI president Giovanni Malago says he has no reason to doubt him.
"I would bet on Gattuso [being innocent]," Malago said, according to ANSA. "He's a good person and I would trust what he has said blindly. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm convinced that he's a good person both in a sporting and human sense. I heard the tone of his voice and I'd really like to know what's behind this investigation."
FIGC president Giancarlo Abete added: "I have every faith in Gattuso. Knowing him, it doesn't seem possible and I'm convinced he will emerge from this ordeal."
Gattuso said that, in hindsight, it was probably better that he was not present at the time his house was searched on Monday night.
"I don't think I'm a saint, but I've never sat with anybody to manipulate games, and nobody has ever proposed anything like it to me," the 2006 World Cup winner told LT Sport Uno.
"Maybe it was a good thing that I wasn't at home because I don't know how I would have reacted. Maybe they would have handcuffed me and arrested me. But the police behaved very well. They took away an iPad and a computer."