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September 24, 2017

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Italian players queried over fixing scandal

ROME -- Italian players Andrea Ranocchia, Domenico Criscito and Leonardo Bonucci have been questioned by prosecutors who are investigating the country's latest match-fixing scandal.

Ranocchia, an Inter Milan defender, is under investigation for suspicion of wrongdoing while playing with Bari during the 2009-10 season.

The 24-year-old Ranocchia emerged from the 50-minute questioning by the Italian soccer federation prosecutors, saying only that "everything's OK."

Criscito's hearing lasted an hour and a half.

Criscito was dropped from Italy's European Championship squad after police interrogated him at the national team's training headquarters shortly before the start of the tournament. He plays for Zenit St. Petersburg and is suspected of alleged wrongdoing while at Genoa.

The defender was questioned specifically about Genoa's game at Lazio in May 2011, which finished in a 4-2 win to Lazio.

Juventus defender Bonucci was also questioned on Monday over his time at Bari, specifically the game at Udinese in May 2010, which finished 3-3.

Bonucci refused to comment after his two-hour hearing, simply telling reporters "I have nothing to say."

At least 50 people have been arrested during a yearlong investigation into scandal. Antonio Conte, who coached Juventus to the Serie A title last season, has also been questioned about his alleged wrongdoing while in charge of Siena in 2010-11.

"Even in the darkest and most painful moments of this story I have always had faith in the investigators," Conte said on Monday. "In my hearing I was able to clarify the situation point by point, telling a credible truth. I am calm."

Prosecutors in Italian cities of Cremona, Bari and Naples have broken a match-fixing ring that stretched all the way to Asia and South America. It was allegedly in operation for more than 10 years.

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