Italian match-fixer goes on hunger strike

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The Independent Football

It is common for football fans to show their respect at the death of a former player by tying a scarf to the club railings. In Italy it seems they do things differently; a player has chained himself to the gates of the Italian FA to mark the likely passing of his career.

Emanuele Pesoli, 31, a former Siena player who now plays for Verona, has also gone on hunger strike after being banned for three years in the latest match-fixing scandal to blight the Italian game.

A number of Italian footballers, coaches, clubs and team owners have been banned as a result of an investigation into illegal betting.

"I am hurt by the sentence and I would like to confront those who accuse me," Pesoli told Gazzetta dello Sport's website. "It is a strong protest but they are ruining my life for something I have not done. I'll stay until I can't do it any more."

A scandal six years ago resulted in Juventus being relegated. They are finally back at the top, but the champions' coach is Antonio Conte, who has been banned for 10 months for not reporting match-fixing while in charge of Siena and Pesoli.