Dirty Tackle

Banned Italian footballer chains himself to federation gates, begins hunger strike

Pesoli: The first to go on a hunger strike in jean shorts? (Reuters)

Verona defender Emanuele Pesoli was given a three-year ban by the Italian football federation (FIGC) on Friday as verdicts were handed down on the country's latest betting and match-fixing scandal. On Saturday, Pesoli chained himself to the gate outside FIGC headquarters and announced he was going on a hunger strike, armed only with bottles of water, a pair of jean shorts, a neon green shirt and sunglasses (and his mobile phone, of course). Just like Gandhi.

From the Telegraph:

"I am hurt by the sentence and I would like to confront those who accuse me," Pesoli, 31, has said while questioning the testimony of other players which helped convict him.

"It is a strong protest but they are ruining my life for something I have not done. I will stay here until I can't do it anymore."

Pesoli was found guilty of "sporting fraud," but claims he rejected the match-fixing plot that was proposed to him. Now he's demanding a meeting with the other players who accused him.

FIGC director general Antonello Valentini met with Pesoli and told him he's wasting his time. From Football Italia:

"After having expressed to you my human solidarity, I invite you to reflect on this course of action.

"I make a promise to ensure you'll have a meeting with the FIGC President after his return from vacation. [...]

"We understand your disappointment and anger, as you consider yourself innocent, but you will be able to have your say at the appeal."

Juventus manager Antonio Conte was also given a 10-month ban for not reporting match fixing while coaching Siena and Pesoli. The appeals process will begin on Aug. 20. Hopefully Pesoli eats something before then. And changes his clothes.