ROME (AP) Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio is under pressure again for alleged discriminatory remarks, this time reportedly aimed at Jews and gays.
Tavecchio made the remarks to online outlet Soccer Life in June while discussing the sale of an amateur league’s headquarters to real estate mogul Cesare Anticoli, Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported Sunday.
”It was bought by that lousy Jew Anticoli,” Tavecchio is heard saying on an audio recording of the conversation posted on Corriere’s website.
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”I don’t have anything against gays but it’s better to keep them away from me,” Tavecchio also allegedly said.
Tavecchio told Corriere that he’s being targeted for blackmail and that he doesn’t recall uttering the remarks, adding that they ”might have been manipulated.”
Still, local Jewish and gay rights groups called for Tavecchio’s removal.
Tavecchio was already suspended for six months by UEFA last year when he made a racist comment during his election campaign, causing a stir over a reference to bananas when discussing the presence of foreign players in Italy.
Renzo Ulivieri, the president of the Italian coaches’ association, called Tavecchio’s alleged remarks out of place whether blackmail was involved.
”Certain words shouldn’t be pronounced by anyone, and certainly not by the president of the Italian football federation,” Ulivieri said.