Genoa leave out Portanova for now after rape conviction

Manolo Portanova is left in the stands for Genoa’s Serie B game against Sudtirol, but the club is still resisting pressure to drop the player after he was convicted of participation in a gang rape.

This is the first match for Genoa under caretaker manager Alberto Gilardino after Alexander Blessin was sacked and also the first since 22-year-old Portanova was convicted of taking part in the gang rape in May 2021.

His uncle, a friend and that friend’s brother – who was a minor at the time – were also convicted and sentenced to six years in prison.

However, the Italian justice system has at least three and often four levels of appeal and until they have all been exhausted, the presumption of innocence remains along with freedom from imprisonment.

Another odd quirk of the system is that if the prison sentence is quite short, usually someone will barely spend any time behind bars, if at all.

Portanova has always insisted the encounter was consensual and that he was not aware the others later attacked the victim.

Genoa have so far resisted pressure to drop Portanova, who has continued playing ever since the accusations first emerged in the summer of 2021.

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