Buffon caught up in betting scandal

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Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon could miss the World Cup because of a new betting scandal in the country.

Turin and Parma officials are investigating a criminal association that made money from betting on matches, and the 28-year-old's name has cropped up.

And the names of other former Juventus men have also been mentioned. Cagliari's Antonio Chimenti, Sevilla's Enzo Maresca and Sampdoria's Mark Iuliano will all be questioned soon.

It is illegal for footballers to bet on matches in Italy, but the world's most expensive goalkeeper categorically denies he has done anything wrong.

"It's true that I did bet, but only where it was possible to do so. I have done nothing since it was forbidden in autumn 2005," he said.

The £32 million man has voluntarily appeared before investigators of the inquiry, in an attempt to clear his name.

If he were to be found guilty though, it's more than likely he would miss out on playing in the world's premier footballing showpiece in Germany this summer.

The scandal comes at a time when Italian football is already reeling from accusations of referee-fixing.

Four of Italy's top clubs are being investigated as part of that inquiry, as Azzurri football seeks to rid corruption from its game.