Italy: Francesco Flachi has returned to football after 12 years of suspension
Former Italian striker Francesco Flachi returned to the field on Sunday with Eccellenza Signa. It was his first competitive game after the end of a 12-year ban for cocaine use.
Flachi was under contract with Sampdoria in 2007 when he received a two-year ban after testing positive for cocaine. The Blucerchiati then terminated his contract and the 46-year-old returned to the pitch two years later.
However, after just six months with Brescia, he tested positive for cocaine again and was handed a 12-year ban which ended a few weeks ago. The former striker returned to the pitch last weekend playing for Eccellenza side Signa.
Eccellenza is a non-professional league and the fifth division in Italy. Flachi started the match and played 30 minutes, as agreed with his coach Enrico Cristiani. Former Sampdoria manager Walter Novellino watched the game from the stands and took a photo with his ex-striker at the end of the match.
“I felt dizzy before the game, I didn’t sleep for a week because of the excitement. I’m so happy now and I want to thank everyone who makes me feel like a footballer again. The journey has only just begun, let’s see what will happen next. In May, I will start a coaching course. said Flachi after the final whistle.