Thursday August 21 2014
‘Tavecchio will resign, if…’

President of CONI, Giovanni Malago, says that if pressure is on Carlo Tavecchio regarding his racist comments, he could resign as FIGC President.

The 71-year-old was successfully elected to his new position just last week and in spite of controversy and mixed support in the build-up following racist remarks made.

Having now prompted a UEFA investigation, his counterpart at CONI does not see this as necessarily the beginning of the end of the issue.

“The problems arising from Tavecchio’s words are many,” Malago has told the Corriere della Sera today.

“I expected the investigation from UEFA, I had received indications in this regard. And it would not surprise me if FIFA moved and on the positions taken by the Footballers’ Association and the Federal Prosecutor’s office.

“I have spoken with him, he is preparing his defence, he seemed calm, he is working very much. But I would add that if the President were to be conditioned by certain events, such as from UEFA, or other manoeuvres, pressures from certain elements, corporate, it would not surprise me at all if he was to take a step back and accept that he would resign.

“In a long conversation between his election, Tavecchio has spoken to me of his programme, his electoral strength, in a convincing way.

“He added that if he is unable to work for the good of football, then he would resign. Again, if these events were to affect him and his actions, Tavecchio would leave.”

Malago, who in meeting with Tavecchio earlier this month described his intentions as creating ‘too many bills to pay’ considered further the Italian Football Federation chief’s plans now he is in power.

“It’s a bold programme. But he must demonstrate that he is not, permit me to say, a Re Travicello [someone in position but without power].

“When I discussed it with him, he told me of his intention to sign Antonio Conte [as Italy Coach]. I replied that he would have my consent, Conte is a winner, but I added that there would be some difficulties in how to afford him.

“He replied that he would have addressed and resolved that, respecting the economic and financial limits that guides the Federation.

“He has kept to his word in a creative way by involving private companies [Puma]. And knowing Conte, he is calm and purist, he will certainly not be influenced by the sponsors.”