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Italian player goes on hunger strike in fix protest

posted 11 Aug 2012, 09:32 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 11 Aug 2012, 09:33 ]

Soccer player Emanuele Pesoli, who was given a three-year ban for his involvement a match-fixing scandal, chains himself to the gates of the Italian Football Federation headquarters and says he will go on hunger strike to protest the ruling.

Soccer player Emanuele Pesoli chained himself to the gates of the Italian Football Federation headquarters in Rome on Saturday (August 11) and said he was going on hunger strike in protest at being banned for three years in a match-fixing scandal.
The former Siena player, now at Verona, was among a number of Italian footballers, coaches, clubs and team owners to be hit with bans by the federation on Friday (August 10 ) after verdicts were reached in an illegal betting probe.

Juventus coach Antonio Conte, also facing a police investigation, was banned for 10 months for not reporting match-fixing while boss of Siena and Pesoli.

"I was given a three year ban yesterday," Pesoli, 31, told Italian television. "I feel hurt, for something that I have not done. I am not doing this protest to ask for acquittal, what I want is a chance to argue my case in court, to face Carobbio and Gervasoni who accuse me. I'm doing this for the sake of my life, the life of my family and I want to defend myself in a fair way, in a just manner with a real trial in front of those who accuse me, with my lawyer on my side being able to rebut what those two people say.

"Up until now and also in the other court processes, no, it's not been possible (to defend myself). Seeing that there are also other guys who are in the same situation as me, I believe it would only be fair to let us defend ourselves in a just manner because our careers and family lives are at stake here," he added.

Italian soccer had only just recovered from a damaging 2006 match-fixing scandal and the new affair has again shone a light on the shady dealings which have blighted Serie A and B for years.

Turin giants Juventus were demoted in the 2006 scandal centred on referees but after years of woe finally bounced back to win the Serie A title last season in Conte's first term in charge.

They are now left embroiled in another scandal, this time not of their making, but have stood by Conte and say he will ultimately be exonerated by an appeal expected to conclude by September.

Assistant coach Massimo Carrera will manage the team in Conte's absence.