Emanuele Pesoli continues innocence protests

Emanuele Pesoli continues to protest his innocence and wants to confront his accusers face-to-face.

Former Siena defender Emanuele Pesoli has continued to protest his innocence in the match-fixing scandal and wants to confront his accusers face-to-face.

The 31-year-old was given a three-year ban from football earlier this month after being found guilty in the betting scandal currently engulfing Italy.

Pesoli subsequently chained himself to the gates of the Italian Football Association (FIGC) headquarters on Saturday in an effort to confront former teammates defender Carlo Gervasoni and midfielder Filippo Carobbio, who accused him of assisting in the fixing of Siena's game with Varese in May 2011.

He also went on a hunger strike but was persuaded to abort that on medical grounds following a meeting with FIGC president Giancarlo Abete.

Pesoli remains defiant about his innocence in the whole scandal and insists that federal prosecutor Stefano Palazzi's decision to ban him for three years is unjustified.

"I've never spoken to Palazzi but he suspended me for three years," he told Calciomercato.com. "I've never considered any plea bargain, I'm innocent and I'm not prepared to pay this penalty.

"I'm grateful to the FIGC for listening to me but I haven't got what I want yet. I want a meeting with Gervasoni and Carobbio but they haven't made that happen.

"Palazzi believed everything they said and I have never even spoken to him or had the chance to defend myself. He believed them and banned me for three years, while giving Gervasoni only three months."

"I was at home, my phone rang - an unknown number. It was Gervasoni. I didn't know him at the time. After that call followed a lot of texts, mostly asking who would be playing on the next Sunday. They weren't direct questions, but they seemed to be asking for specific information."

The Verona defender will hold talks with Abete at the FIGC headquarters in Rome on Friday morning.

A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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