“Wonderful goal from Portanova that extinguishes the controversy”: storm over the Rai radio commentator, who then apologises


By John

«A wonderful goal from Portanova that puts the controversy to rest». The phrase of the Rai radio commentator Nicola Zanariniduring the program ‘All football minute by minute’sparked heated controversy on social media during the Serie B match Reggiana-Cremonese, which ended 2-2. Among others, Manolo Portanova, now at Reggiana, scored, having been sentenced in first instance to six years in prison for gang sexual assault last December and for this reason had been excluded from the Genoa squad, where he played at the time of the facts, and therefore rejected by the Bari fans, with whom he was in negotiations. And even in Reggio Emilia his arrival had sparked controversy.
«I made a comment that was certainly out of place and I committed a serious negligence when talking about Manolo Portanova’s goal. I certainly didn’t mean to say that the case was closed by a network – the journalist later apologized – or that the controversy was swept away by a sporting gesture, so much so that immediately afterwards I recalled that the appeal after the first instance sentence of 6 years for the serious accusation of gang rape will be held in the coming months in Florence. I have followed the issue recently, giving voice to the women’s associations of Reggio Emilia who contested the choice to sign the player and I also criticized the Granata club for its long silence on the matter – Zanarini recalled again – and also underlined the great prudence of the Municipality in taking a position. Far be it from me to want to acquit a defendant for a goal, in the emphasis of the radio commentary I made a huge mistake, for which I sincerely and deeply apologize to all those who felt offended. Having immediately understood my mistake, during the radio commentary I specified that today’s goal certainly does not put an end to the Portanova case and the controversies that followed the player’s hiring.”