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Italy FA chief faces UEFA racism probe

20 August 2014, 14:51

Zurich - Italian soccer federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio is to face a disciplinary investigation by European soccer's governing body over allegedly racist remarks made during his election campaign, UEFA said on Wednesday.

Tavecchio, who was elected FIGC president last week, made a speech in the run-up to the election in which he referred to a fictitious player he called Opti Poba who, he said, "previously ate bananas and then suddenly becomes a first team player with Lazio."

UEFA said in a statement: "Carlo Tavecchio... has today been personally informed by UEFA about the decision of its Chief Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector to open a disciplinary investigation on alleged racist comments made by him during his FIGC presidential election campaign."

UEFA said a report would be handed to its ethics and disciplinary panel "to render a decision about this matter.

Also read: UEFA hands out racism sanctions

"Further details concerning these proceedings will be announced in due course."

Although Tavecchio's comments caused anger in Italy, he was still swept home with 63 percent of the vote in last week's election after receiving the backing of Lega Pro, which represents third and fourth division clubs, and the LND, representing the amateur leagues.

Some Serie A and Serie B clubs also voted for him.

Italy has struggled to control racism in the last few seasons and AC Milan's players walked off the pitch during a friendly match in 2013 after abuse from fans on the terraces.

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- Reuters


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