The very Italian controversy surrounding Patrick Zaki’s (wrong) words :: Blog on Today

If there were still doubts about the Italian character of Patrick Zakithe Egyptian researcher and activist who was a prisoner for almost two years in a prison in his country for having publicly denounced the distortions, the football controversy that he unleashed in recent days makes him our compatriot in all respects, but this is not good news, at least for him.

What happened in Juve-Bologna

In case you missed this controversy, let’s make a very brief summary. On Saturday 16 April it was played Juventus-Bologna, the Emilians were in the lead for most of the game except to be caught up in injury time. Shortly before, an episode that made the moviolisti and varisti discuss, with a foul by the Bolognese Soumaoro on the Juventus player Morata who, after the consultation with the VAR, cost him the expulsion, but not the penalty as requested by the Juventus players, and subsequently also the expulsion of his partner Medel, who despite the penalty he escaped protested to the referee accusing him of siding with Juve.

Zaki’s tweet that sparked the controversy

Patrick Zaki has always expressed his support for Bologna, both before, when he was a researcher at the University of Bologna, and after the dramatic story that saw him as a protagonist. And to comment on his team’s failure to win, Zaki posted on Saturday night this tweetin which he writes “Two red cards, they are still paying”.

Which, if it had not been understood, alludes to the fact that Juve would have corrupted the referees of the match, continuing to “pay them”, with a reference to the Calciopoli events, which led to the relegation of Juventus and other penalties for other clubs.

The reactions of the Juventus players

This tweet sparked a wave of insults, insults, threats and assorted nonsense in response to Zaki’s words from self-styled Juventus fans, who alluded to the fact that Italy shouldn’t have. spend to get him out of prison and bring him back to Italy, or that since he was released in this way he would have to shut up otherwise, in short, he would go back to his country.

In short, the classic paraphernalia of imbecility against anyone who is “guilty” of having been helped by our country to escape from unjust, violent, discriminatory treatments, if not kidnappings (from the marines to the two Gretas, up to Silvia Romano, the list is long). We do not report any examples, so as not to give space to certain nonsense.

Patrick Zaki does not understand his mistake

An avalanche of insults that Zaki denounced in the late Easter evening, again on his social networks, this time with a long post on Facebookwhich – however – is missing something fundamental: his admission of guilt and the consequent apologies.

Here is what Zaki writes: “Yesterday I decided to comment on the match between Bologna and Juventus, saying something that I think is very normal among football fans all over the world. I was faced with dozens of insults and attacks, up to the I hate. I don’t mind having heated discussions with fans of different teams on a regular basis, I love football and appreciate this kind of fun. impressed how hate speech can be triggered so easily. I honestly don’t understand how this escalation has been so rapid and why after two years of silence, I am attacked by the same people who once supported me, just because I have said my opinion on the I didn’t want to offend anyone with my words and I accept every person’s right to express their opinion, I just hope people let me exercise my fundamental right. such to say my opinion on a match. In a world filled with all sorts of censorship from various actors, I always bet on people to protect the free speech rights of others even if they disagree. If I can’t say my opinion on football without being attacked, I’m not sure how I should recover my voice in more important matters. Still, I love all football fans and understand that sometimes our love for our team makes us a little defensive, but I draw the line to attack someone’s personal life and wish bad things on them. In the end, I want to thank everyone who has supported me at any time and those who still support me, you rekindle my faith in humanity. Come on Bologna “

Why Zaki is wrong (as well as right)

Why do we say that Zaki’s post is missing his admission of guilt? Because, in fact, there is no trace of an apology, nor of having understood the gravity of his words.

When he claims the “fundamental right to have my opinion on a match”, when he thinks he has written “something that I think is very normal among football fans”, Zaki shows that he has not understood that certain bar sports speeches, if expressed publicly by a well-known person such as he is, they become the subject of potential lawsuits.

Because “they are still paying” is not an opinion on a match, or a referee episode, or how two teams play. No, “they are still paying” is defamation, and if Juve decided to sue him (obviously they won’t) no judge would say that it was a simple legitimate opinion. Because even if actually among the bar fans (physical or virtual) it is perfectly normal to say that a team has bribed a referee, in fact this is not the case.

To understand this, let’s try to imagine Andrea Agnelli, Juventus president, who comments on the release of Patrik Zaki alluding to the fact that in reality the researcher invented everything in league with the Egyptian government to raise some money. What would happen? At the very least, a media fuss would be unleashed that in comparison slap by Will Smith is nothing. And it would also be right, after all.

So why does Zaki, who rightly denounces the hateful words addressed to him, claim the right to say that a publicly traded company bribes arbitrators, as if it were his own inalienable right of expression? To answer with a joke, we could answer that Zaki has simply learned to be like millions of Italian anti-Juventus players, including some journalists who pretend not to see the seriousness of the defamatory accusations via tweets, focusing only on the reactions of the violent and idiots. But the reality, dear Patrick Zaki, is that you have not “expressed a normal opinion”, you have defamed, and for certain things there are trials, in any country in the world.


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