Saturday January 19 2013
Gianello: 'Forgive me, Napoli'

Matteo Gianello has apologised to Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava after his testimony – debunked this week – earned them six-month bans. “It’s a huge weight off my conscience.”

The former third choice Napoli goalkeeper had told officials in the betting investigation that he approached teammates Cannavaro and Grava to ask about fixing a game with Sampdoria in May 2010.

He claimed they turned him down point blank, but that still left them open to six-month bans for failing to alert the authorities, while Napoli were docked two points. All those charges were overturned in this week’s appeal.

“The Court of Appeal’s sentence took a huge weight off my conscience,” Gianello told the Corriere dello Sport.

“I too suffered and felt great pain during this period. I knew that I had put Cannavaro and Grava’s careers at risk, despite the fact I still care for them. I put Napoli’s season at risk after unforgettable seasons together.”

The now retired goalkeeper suggested he was pushed into the confession during long police interrogations.

“How would I define myself? I’d avoid the word ‘traitor’ for a start. I was never a traitor to Paolo, Gianluca or Napoli.

“If you want, feel free to write I was naive, dumb or even an idiot. It was a stupid moment, the first and last of my existence.

“If I could sit down with Cannavaro and Grava, I would ask for their forgiveness at dragging them into Hell. The person who hurt them was not me, who after seven and a half hours of interrogation let himself go. The real traitor is another, a man who pretended to be our friend.

“I owe them an apology and hope they feel better, so they can continue to live a calm and relaxed life. I remain among the flames of Hell.

“I was called a delinquent and a bandit, for an attitude that was never part of my being. I never placed bets and can say that at the top of my voice. I must particularly thank lawyer Eduardo Chiacchio, who always supported me and pushed me to lodge an appeal.

“I sank into a deep depression and thought about suicide, but I didn’t have the courage. I am devastated, but since January 17 I feel less useless. At least Napoli have what they deserve, while Cannavaro and Grava can begin again.”

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