Europe news

Pezzoni to take legal action

September 5, 2012
By Stephan Ueberzahl

The lawyer of former Cologne player Kevin Pezzoni has confirmed the free agent will take legal steps against his offenders.

Kevin Pezzoni
AssociatedKevin Pezzoni was attacked at Cologne's carnival

• Cologne release Pezzoni

Pezzoni, 23, was released from his contract after being threatened by fans last Friday. The club felt they were left with no other option but to allow him to leave.

Reports in Germany accused the Bundesliga 2 club of giving up in the face of violence, leaving Cologne's chief executive Claus Horstmann having to defend the club.

"In this individual we had to decide this way," he told kicker. "It is not a standard solution. But we decided in the sense of Kevin. Maybe we don't know everything."

The club also released a statement on their official website. It read: "It's absurd to assume we have given up in the face of the aggressive behaviour of individual disturbers. They have no influence on contract decisions made by board and management."

In a recent interview with Express, Bayer Leverkusen director of boards Wolfgang Holzhäuser hinted Bayer starlet Andre Schürrle had moved from Cologne to nearby Dusseldorf because he felt unsafe. However Schurrle, 21, has denied this.

"I have never felt threatened," he said. Although he later added: "Taking those emergency measures [releasing a player from his contract] can't be the general idea."

Germany coach Joachim Low called the incident "unacceptable" while Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff said the development "disturbed" him and he did not want to see those "criminal things in football".

Meanwhile Cologne supporters group Coloniacs released a press statement in which they distanced themselves from the attackers. They stated that they did not know what happened but if people were of the mind that attacking a player was a good idea then they had "less brains than the folks over at Amsterdamer Straße", the street where Cologne papers Kölner Stadtanzeiger and Express reside.

The Cologne supporters group also distanced themselves from the Pezzoni incident. "Boundaries were crossed from persons who are not Cologne fans and can be not be Cologne fans," they said.

The group also claimed parts of the media should be made accountable for what had happened as lurid headlines had attracted the thugs. Pezzoni has yet to make an official statement.