Italian football club, Sampdoria have backed out of a deal to sign Santi Mina after backlash from fans over the Spanish striker’s jail sentence for sexual abuse.
The Spanish footballer is currently appealing a four-year prison sentence for sexual abuse.
Mina was handed a four-year sentence in 2022 as well as a 12-year restraining order and told to pay £42,700 (€50,000) compensation for an attack of sexually abusing a woman in a caravan outside a nightclub in the holiday resort of Mojacar near Almeria in June 2017.
He was close to joining the Serie B club but on Tuesday Italian media La Repubblica reported that appalled supporters had derailed the signing.
They quoted, Christian Tuttino, the son of former Sampdoria midfielder Paolo saying: ‘To sign a footballer, already convicted of one of the worst crimes a man can commit, even if it is pending appeal, seems to me a serious mistake.’
Last season, Mina played on loan for Saudi Arabian club Al-Shabab while appealing to the Supreme Court of Andalucía.
He lost that appeal and is now appealing to Spain’s Supreme Court.
Last month, Celta Vigo officially terminated Mina’s contract, despite him having one year left on his deal.
‘This decision, which has the strong support of LaLiga, undoubtedly endorses the initial position of the club,’ it said in a statement.
‘From day one, RC Celta stressed that the values of the club are above all else and that the club would defend it to the last consequences, including the repercussions it could have on sports planning.
‘RC Celta is a centenary club born from an act of exemplary generosity and throughout its history, it has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to society and the defense of values that are already hallmarks of the club on countless occasions.’