"As a mother I know the sacrifices that Manolo made to achieve professional football, to achieve his dream and he does not deserve to live all this. He's a principled guy. I do not say it only I am the mother, but I believe that any person who has known him or has had the opportunity to talk to us even for a few minutes would confirm it. So yes, he is innocent, but not in my opinion, he is absolutely innocent." Antonia Langella, mother of Manolo Portanova, Reggiana midfielder sentenced in the first instance to six years for group sexual violence and at the center of controversy for his arrival at the grenade in the summer, defends her footballer son, in an interview with Gazzetta di Reggio.
The appeal is awaited for the trial, in Florence. "Given that I believe in justice, and I am sure that the truth is always destined to come out, as is now known, Manolo's defense has presented many pieces of evidence to support his innocence - continues his mother - which, if read with serenity would certainly have led to a completely different outcome".
As a woman, what do you think of what happened in that room? "I have seen the videos and as a woman I have reason to believe that no violence took place in that room." What would you like to say to the girl involved? "I believe that even before my words, he should listen to his conscience." To Manolo, "I would say that I am proud of how he is reacting to all this. To make it go forward is only the strength of those who know they are innocent". Langella thanks Reggiana for believing in her son and giving him the opportunity to play and work and is convinced for the appeal: "If you want to read the court papers meticulously and without prejudice, then the outcome must necessarily be different".
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