The Lega Serie A and Lega Pro rushed to the defence of FIGC Presidential candidate Carlo Tavecchio in the racism row.
There are calls for Tavecchio to step down after making racist comments during his speech to become chief of the Federation.
“It was an unfortunate joke, but without any racist connotations,” assured Lega Pro President Mario Macalli.
Lega Serie A President Maurizio Beretta also defended Tavecchio.
“His life is a continual testimony of actions against every form of discrimination. A wrong turn of phrase does not change the judgement of Tavecchio as a person and a director.”
Current President of the LND (amateur leagues) Tavecchio made the comments when discussing the lack of a work permit requirement in Italy.
“We say that any old Opti Pobà can come here, before he was eating bananas, now he’s playing in the Lazio first XI,” said 71-year-old Tavecchio on Friday.