Aston Villa have appointed Simone Farina, a whistleblower in the betting scandal, as their new ‘community coach.’
The former Gubbio player turned down an offer of €200,000 to help influence a Coppa Italia game against Cesena in November 2011 and alerted the authorities.
Farina was named FIFA ambassador for fair play by Sepp Blatter, but the 30-year-old was out of contract and has not been able to find another Italian club.
He has now been appointed community outreach coach by English side Aston Villa, where he’ll work with young people in the local area.
“I know I did the right thing when I refused to get involved in the fixing of a football game,” said Farina
“I went to the authorities because this corruption had to be brought to the surface. This level of deception has no place in football or in any walk of life.
“But it is also important to me that I continue to work in football and that I am able to pass on my knowledge because football is an inspirational game. A year ago I did not see my life moving in this direction but I am really delighted to be able now to contribute in this way at Villa.
“I wanted to move on with my life. Now I feel that I have real purpose again because of the support and opportunity Villa have given me.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!