Gentlemen, what was it like acting in the docu-film?
“I’m not that great as an actor, but I was facilitated by playing myself.”
What is your opinion of the film?
“The truth? I didn’t want to see her. I will do it on Friday at the “premiere” in Bologna ».
That Bologna where he was escorted on June 1, 2011, arrested for being one of the “leaders” of football betting.
«A surreal day. I leave Rome by train, accompanied by two plainclothes agents. They tell me that they would have taken me to the police station without explaining why. I think my father did something he didn’t have to do with our companies, but then the phone calls come, including my sister’s asking me: “What have you done?”. I look on the Internet thanks to the cell phone of one of the two policemen and I read the accusations. I don’t believe it”.
And she replies with the famous “Have mercy” to a journalist who contacts her.
“I was a man in trouble, shattered by a sudden and unexpected accusation. The way I was wearing had collapsed. “Have mercy” was certainly not an admission of guilt, as someone wanted to read ».
At the police station the mugshots, the fingerprints …
“Like I’m a criminal in a movie. I was incredulous ».
Then the house arrest.
«Twelve devastating days: I was inside my house, but it was as if I were in a cell. Finally, the interrogation under guarantee in front of the judge: it lasted 48 minutes, but after 3 pm he was already gone because he considered it useless given my statements. I was removed from house arrest, but I no longer wanted to leave the house, see or meet people ».
On the other hand, he studied the papers of the trial, the interrogations, the wiretapping …
“And there wasn’t even an intercepted phone call from me. The boss who doesn’t call to give orders, who doesn’t meet anyone from the association. Apart from that famous meeting in the office of my two former accountants … ”(he smiles bitterly).
It seems odd indeed. What is your idea?
«Simple: mine was a well-known name that could be used for the investigation. I was not registered with any company and I liked to bet, which everyone knew because I never hid it. I was perfect ».
A little while ago he said “apart from that meeting in the office of my two former accountants …”. His troubles arise from there.
«When there was talk of altering the outcome of a match, I wanted to leave. I refused the request to finance the thing because it never occurred to me to fix a match ».
For two and a half months he was followed and intercepted, but the investigators found nothing, apart from the so-called “papello” written by her during that meeting.
“A little bit for being the head and financier of the association, don’t you think? I would have expected the prosecutor, before asking for my arrest, to ask the others if I was involved and how. But, I repeat, with 200 goals scored in Serie A I was a good name for the investigation … ».
From that moment on, Signori left the world of football.
“I had been general manager at Ternana, but I didn’t feel at ease behind the desk. I wanted to be a coach and in 2010 I took part in the Supercorso in Coverciano. I had the future I dreamed of before me, but in June 2011 it all ends ».
And the judicial battle begins.
“Ten terrible years that have tried me physically and psychologically. Indeed, my whole family has tried, from my children to my wife, passing through my parents ».
In the docu-film Mingardi says: “Who will give them back these ten years?”.
«Good question with only one answer:“ None ”. But now I’m walking around with my head held high. I fought for it. I did not get out thanks to the prescription, which I gave up, or due to insufficient evidence. Mine is a full acquittal because the fact does not exist: article 530 paragraph 1. An acquittal with no ifs and buts “.
Has he also become an expert on the law?
“I learned a little something thanks to my lawyer, Patrizia Brandi, an angel. I met her in 2014 (the legal background advised him to negotiate, ed), he believed me and helped me. We fought together and won ».
Thus came the grace from the FIGC.
«It was as important as the acquittal because, if all the shadows had not cleared up, the Football Association would not have canceled the radiation. If you knew how much I have missed the smell of grass in recent years … Wait a minute, specify well: the grass of the football field (smiles). No misunderstandings … I want to be a coach and, given my past as a player, I can give some advice to the boys or the more experienced ».
“None, but it’s normal: I’ve been out for ten years and I’ve been through what I’ve been through. I cannot puzzle: you will see that at the right time a proposal will arrive. Maybe from a youth sector. I am open to everything. In this world I have many friends ».
“Many have always remained by my side. From Sinisa (Mihajlovic) to those who spoke in the docu-film, but there are also others ».
And who doesn’t believe her even now, what does it mean?
“Honestly, I don’t care. In order to be acquitted, I renounced to negotiate first and then the limitation period. From this story I came out clean. It is good to reiterate it and that everyone understands it ».
Who will see “Offsides – A story of life and sport” will understand …
«I explicitly asked that it not be a simple story of my goals because everyone knows what I did on the pitch. I wanted people to realize what I have felt in these ten years, of the legal situation in which an innocent person can end up. At the same time, however, there is a message of hope in this story: one can defend oneself from false accusations and come out clean. Now I look forward with confidence, optimism and, if you allow me a joke … ».
You are welcome.
“I bet on Gentlemen.”
Good this …
“Now I can joke about it, but I don’t wish anyone what happened to me. I was lucky enough to be able to tell it because my name is Beppe Signori. Others, who knows him… ».
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