Carlo Tavecchio, set to become the new Federation President, was caught making an embarrassing racist gaffe.
The current President of the LND (amateur League) is the hot favourite to beat Demetrio Albertini in a vote for new President of the FIGC.
He put forward his proposals in a long and rambling speech today, but media have now picked up on an unfortunate turn of phrase.
Tavecchio was trying to suggest Italy adopt England’s system of players getting a work permit before they are allowed into the country’s teams.
“Welcoming is one thing, but playing football is another,” said the 71-year-old.
“In England they identify the players coming in and, if they are professional, they are allowed to play.
“Instead, here we say that any old Opti Pobà can come here, before he was eating bananas, now he’s playing in the Lazio first XI.
“In England the players have to prove their curriculum and pedigree first.”
Naturally, references to eating bananas and the invention of a fake African-sounding name caused consternation.
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