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Del Piero’s move to Indian Super League raises political dispute

Aug 29, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

Alessandro Del Piero Getty Images

The Indian Super League has brought a prominent face of European to their league, with Italian forward Alessandro Del Piero heading to the Delhi Dynamos on a short contract lasting until December.

Nonetheless, this particular transfer has sparked political debate because two Italian military men are jailed under the belief that they killed two local fishermen, and relations between both countries have been strained.

“He doesn’t need the money or the fame,” said politician Giorgia Meloni, per ESPN FC. “He’s already an undisputed symbol of Italian football and a world football icon.

“If he were to make a stand on this matter, it would certainly not fall on deaf ears and it could be an important signal to the Indian government and the international community.”

Del Piero recognized the tension between the two nations, but he insisted that he’s going to India to breed the sport and it’s positive effects on its fans.

“I know that my decision to go and play in India has raised a bit of perplexity in view of the relations between Italy and India, in view of the two Maro [Italian military] being held there,” he said.

“I am satisfied with my choice. I’m not going to a hostile country and the last thing I want is to be used [for political purposes] and for sport to be used to divide rather than uniting.”

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