Palermo president denies anti-Semitic comments

The president of the Palermo football club has defended

comparing a player’s agent to ”Jewish lawyers,” saying his

comments were not meant to be anti-Semitic.

Maurizio Zamparini used the expression during an interview with

SportMediaset but, amid reports that an Italian football federation

prosecutor is investigating, he has moved quickly to explain


In a statement released Thursday, he says ”the word Jewish is

for me synonymous with admiration for enterprising youngsters who

look for work and get it intelligently. … It was praise changed

into an insult … I’ve never been racist, my life proves it.”

Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports on its website that

federation prosecutor Stefano Palazzi has opened up an

investigation into Zamparini’s comments about Javier Pastore’s