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 himself.
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 agent.