Questions raised over Buffon payments to bookmaker

The Juventus goalkeeper is said to have handed over 14 cheques worth a total value of €1.5 million to a Parma-based tobacconist and betting shop
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The Guardia di Finanza has revealed that it has raised questions over payments made by Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon to a bookmaker.

According to a document released by Italy's financial law enforcement agency, the Juventus goalkeeper made out 14 cheques to a Parma-based tobacconist, which also serves as a betting shop, over a nine-month spell. The report claimed that Buffon handed over approximately €1.5 million to the owner.

While gambling on sporting events is legal, Buffon, as a member of the Italian Football Federation, is forbidden from placing wagers on any games sanctioned by the FIGC, Fifa or Uefa.

However, it is not yet known whether any of the money was for gambling purposes, or if indeed the former Parma player's alleged bets were placed upon other sports, which he is entitled to do.

The Azzurri star's lawyer has stated that the cheques were merely "transfers designed to protect Buffon's personal assets."

The Guardia di Finanza checks, which are being carried out by the Turin Prosecutor, are not related to the Cremona-led enquiry into match-fixing that earlier this week resulted in Italy left-back Domenico Criscito having his room searched by police.

The news, though, comes in the wake of Buffon's criticism of the Italian press for what he believed was sensationalist coverage of the Scommessopoli scandal.