Fiorentina and Livorno captains Manuel Pasqual and Andrea Luci held a joint press conference at the Stadio Franchi today ahead of the Tuscan derby their teams will contest on Sunday. The purpose of the conference was to raise public awareness about fibrodisplasia ossificante progressiva (FOP), a rare genetic disorder which Luci's son was sadly diagnosed with a few months ago.
Andrea Luci: "I'd like to thank all the Florentine radio stations, the media and websites who have helped me. Our aim is to raise as much funds as possible for research. I know the pharmaceutical companies looking for a cure are experimenting on animals while they wait for approval to continue their work on humans. FOP is a debilitating disorder that turns soft tissues and muscles into 'bone' over time."
Manuel Pasqual: "We came up with the idea for this initiative when we found out about the difficult situation Andrea's family is going through. We wanted to create a movement to support this association. On Sunday we'll take to the field wearing special jerseys which will then be auctioned off to raise more funds. This is children we're talking about – our future – and I think it's right to offer all our support. We'll fight as hard on the pitch in the derby as we will off it to beat this disease."