Pesoli in hunger strike
Defender urged to unchain himself from gates of FIGC building
Last Updated: August 11, 2012 4:47pm
Emanuele Pesoli: Says he will not eat until he can confront his accusers in match-fixing scandal
The Italian Football Federation has urged Emanuele Pesoli to end his hunger strike after the defender chained himself to the gates of the FIGC headquarters.
Pesoli, who recently joined Verona from Siena, began his protest on Saturday morning after being given a three-year ban for his part in the Italian match-fixing scandal.
The 31-year-old maintains he is innocent and will not eat until he can confront his accusers, saying: "They are ruining my life for something I have not done. I will stay here until I can't do it anymore."
Pesoli is among a number of players, coaches, clubs and team owners to be hit with bans by the Italian Federation (FIGC) on Friday after verdicts were reached in an illegal betting probe.
The FIGC has now responded by insisting that Pesoli will have his chance to appeal the same as everyone else.
"The problem of confronting your accusers is not something dealt with by the Federation's political arm, but rather an issue for the sporting justice system," said FIGC director general Antonello Valentini when meeting Pesoli.
"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.
"However, confronting the accusers is something that president Giancarlo Abete, I or the Federation cannot do. The sporting justice system is totally autonomous.
"We understand your disappointment and anger, as you consider yourself innocent, but you will be able to have your say at the appeal."
The appeals process begins on August 20th and many, including Juventus coach Antonio Conte, hope to have their bans reduced or even scrapped entirely.