Palermo

Soccer: Corleone revokes Miccoli's honorary citizenship

Striker called anti-mafia hero 'filth' in wiretap

Soccer: Corleone revokes Miccoli's honorary citizenship

Palermo, July 1 - An angry city council in the Sicilian town of Corleone has revoked the citizenship of a star soccer player who cursed the memory of slain anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone. Last week, Palermo captain Fabrizio Miccoli tearfully apologized for his remarks about Falcone, who was assassinated in 1992 along with his wife and three bodyguards in a massive mafia bombing. The striker has been linked to Cosa Nostra over alleged extortion and a phone-card scam, and in a wiretapped conversation with a Cosa Nostra boss's son, Miccoli called Falcone "filth". Miccoli later said that he grew up with "anti-mafia values" and always took part in matches in support of the fight against the Mob. The striker said also he was confident he would be cleared of links to Cosa Nostra. But that did not satisfy councillors Corleone, a town once synonymous with organized crime. "It was the least we could do" after the soccer star's remarks became public, said Mayor Leoluchina Savona. The former Palermo captain has been a role model of Corleone children, "promoting such values as loyalty, solidarity and healthy competition," added Savona. But no more, said the mayor, adding the revocation was requested by several town councillors. "Falcone is a civic hero," he added. Falcone's long-time friend and fellow anti-mafia crusader Paolo Borsellino was slain by a car bomb along with five policemen in Palermo 57 days after Falcone's murder. They are Italy's most iconic martyrs in the battle against organised crime.

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