The echo of the affair was underestimated because the club was primarily concerned with respecting the contract of the player convicted of rape, but not the ethical aspects of the affair. For now, the decision is in Gilardino’s hands: the player will probably skip Ascoli
More concerned about not making risky moves on a contractual level than about disturbing common morality on the issue of violence against women, Genoa went astray yesterday. But, this is a certainty, such a thing will never happen again. Because the last of the messages that the club would have liked to convey to the outside is precisely that of a lack of attention on such a delicate and, alas, topical subject. The inclusion of Manolo Portanova, three days after his sentence in the first instance with the abbreviated procedure to six years in prison for gang sexual violence, in the squad for yesterday’s match against Südtirol, has unleashed hundreds of negative comments by the fans, surprised by the behavior of the club. Even if, in reality, it was already foreseen that the midfielder would not have taken the field anyway. In retrospect, not a very happy choice even if, in fact, at that moment the concept prevailed that there were no legal instruments, for Genoa itself, to be able to block the player. Of course, in the eyes of the majority of fans – and the tenor of the social messages made it clear -, faced with such a serious crime, the presumption of innocence up to the third degree of judgment does not appear ethically acceptable, and for this reason the management rossoblù will take into account from now on.
In the short term, it will be up to coach Gilardino to establish whether Portanova, like any other registered player, can be included in the squad. Considering that, according to the coach himself, Portanova hadn’t trained in a group on Wednesday and Thursday, and the day after tomorrow it’s championship again, it seems obvious that the midfielder won’t go to Ascoli tomorrow with the team. Beyond the physical conditions, the psychological pressure is too great to theoretically do his job well. Genoa knows very well that the story is very… uncomfortable for the club, considering that in the event that Portanova’s lawyer appeals to the Appeal and then to the Cassation, the sentence will become final not before the end of 2023.
THE INTEREST OF THE TEAM
It is unthinkable to continue sailing on sight for such a long period, which is why in the medium to long term, a solution will be needed that avoids the club from the risk of possible legal disputes. Since the case exploded in June a year ago, Genoa has always remained on the sidelines. But, now, the media clamor of the story is such that it is necessary to avoid at all costs that the wave of controversy overwhelms the environment and the team, finding an exit strategy useful for everyone. Today the locker room must only have in mind the conquest of a useful place to get back to Serie A. The courtrooms will still have to stay off the pitch, at any cost.
December 9 – 10:07
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