"Why always me?" -- Kevin Pezzoni (Getty)
Though Cologne manager Holger Stanislawski recently pleaded with the club's fans to have sex in the stands, a group of them has decided it prefers violence instead. Particularly targeted at 23-year-old former Blackburn defender Kevin Pezzoni.
How much do Cologne fans hate Kevin Pezzoni? Think of the most disliked player on your favorite club and then multiply that my Muammar Gaddafi.
Cologne granted the 23-year-old's request to cancel his contract on Friday after he had been confronted outside his flat by a group of angry fans, who threatened to beat him up.
"A group of people were waiting for him in front of his apartment. They abused him and it is a situation which has been building up for a long time," said Coach Holger Stanislawski, explaining that the contract had been cancelled solely to protect the player.
Club officials said they had discussed all options with the midfielder, who had already been attacked in February, when his nose was broken.
They say he rejected suggestions to stay and rally a show of support, revealing that he had also been insulted on Facebook and had found abusive notes stuck on his car.
The situation had deteriorated over the last two weeks, with Cologne supporters blaming Pezzoni for the poor performance of the team, which had been relegated to the second division at the end of the last season.
Even Emile Heskey thinks that's harsh. Blaming one guy for a very troubled club's relegation is bad enough, but how many different ways do they have to punish the guy for it? Threatening him outside his house, breaking his nose, insulting him on Facebook AND with notes on his car? They were probably working on arranging his food into an illustration of his own death when he finally said enough is enough.
Good luck to Pezzoni wherever he goes. Hopefully he finds a more welcoming crowd.
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