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Warnings. Cesare Prandelli and the novel he inspired

The FIGC and the coach of the national football team have asked not topublish the book “Per favore non dite niente” (Please don’t say nothing)by Mr Marco Ciriello. But the publisher considers the request unjustified

Per favore non dite niente” is a novel that has just been published. It was written by the journalist Mr Marco Ciriello. A coverband says it is inspired by CesarePrandelli, the popular coach of the national football team. When he learned that it would be published, CesarePrandelli has formally asked the editor not to publish it,asking for its removal from the market since he considers illegitimate to use his name without his permission. Even the Italian Football Federation has signed the request. But the publisher has decided not to grant the request because the book contains only a dedication to Prandelli, who is never mentioned in the text. Therefore, the book has been on salesince May 22nd. The case gives rise to reflections on the conflict that may arise between the right of the freedom of the press and the right to protect one’s name and personal identity.

In the letter sent to the publisher by the law firm of the Football Association reads: “We intimate not to use the name, portrait and picture of Mr Prandelli for any commercial, marketing, communication or book launch activity. In addition, we reserve all rights, including the right to act for the prohibition of the dissemination of the book to the public, the right for its withdrawal from the market, and also the right to claim damages if the content of the work has harmed the name or reputation of Mr Prandelli.” The Chiareletterepress office reports to have proposed to the FIGC and to Mr Prandelli to discuss the issue before the publication of the book, and to not have received a reply, and to thus having considered to have the right to proceed with the publication, all the more since in the novel’s text of the novel there is barely any mention of the name of Prandelli: the name appears only in the back cover leaflet and on a cover band which binds the book, with a picture and the inscription: “The novel is inspired by the story of CesarePrandelli.”

Having received the injunction, the editor wrote to the law firm of the FIGC. “The coach of the national team is portrayed as a real person, who has the courage to always be himself, even when facing the pain of the illness of his wife”,the publisher Mr Fazio wrote, citing Il Divo by Paolo Sorrentino and Frank Sinatra hailraffreddoreby Gay Telese. “The book is the story of Marco (the protagonist’s name, as the editor notes), and not that of Cesare. It’s a novel, not an investigation: so why attack it?” Fazioadded.

Following the request for further explanation advanced by Ossigeno, the publisher has responded that: “The request of the FIGC is unjustified because the book is not offensive to Prandelli. It is loosely based on his figure.” Because the notice of the FIGC arrived while the book was already being distributed, since May 22nd, as the publisher says,“to block the publication would have resulted in a serious economic loss, and, moreover, when we received the letter, the novel was already being distributed and could no longer be stopped. In the letter we have given our willingness to remove the cover band from the novels already in bookstores, but so far no news has been received from the FIGC.”Mr Fazio has, however, sent a statement to the booksellers, inviting them to remove the cover band from the novel.

The author of the novel told what he thinks of the matter to the daily Il FattoQuotidiano: “If those of the FIGC, whom I never mention and still fail to understand what they have to do with the book at all, had actually read it, they would not have confused it, as they did, for an unauthorized biography, and indeed would have noticed the delicacy with which I speak of the character.”

GA

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