Sunday November 1 2015
Tavecchio in fresh racism row

FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio is back in the eye of the storm after old antisemitic and homophobic statements resurfaced.

The head of the Italian football federation was already in the spotlight last year for stereotyping African players as banana-eaters.

Now il Corriere della Sera published an audio tape with fragments from a conversation he held with a representative of the website Soccerlife.

In the audio, Tavecchio can clearly be heard damning Cesare Anticoli for his involvement with the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti.

Tavecchio refers to Anticoli as an 'ebreaccio', pejorative for 'ebreo', meaning Jew.

“I don't have anything against Jews, but it's best to keep them under control,” he continues, before riling against gays.

“Is it true that a former President of the FIGC was gay? I have nothing against homosexuals but keep them away from me, I am perfectly normal.”

Tavecchio defended himself from accusations of racism and homophobia, stating today that he is being blackmailed.

“I am clearly the victim of a blackmail attempt,” he said. “I don't remember the exact words I used in that conversation, which could have been manipulated.

“I met someone I hadn't seen in a long time, whom I denied a request to finance his editorial activities and to use the Federation as a vehicle to obtain European contributions.

“I'm in excellent relationships with the Jewish community and any attempt to discredit or slander me by illicit means, by these methods which are nowadays so common, will be countered within the appropriate institutions.”

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