Carlo Tavecchio Investigated by UEFA After Alleged Racist and Sexist Comments

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Carlo Tavecchio Investigated by UEFA After Alleged Racist and Sexist Comments
Riccardo De Luca/Associated Press

Updates from Monday, Aug. 25

Joe Wright of reports that UEFA won't press charges against Tavecchio:

Prosecutors have determined the newly-elected president of the Italian Football Federation will face no punishment for comments over foreign players

Italian Football Federation president Carlo Tavecchio will face no action over comments concerning foreign players in Serie A.


A statement on the FIGC's official website confirmed Tavecchio would face no punishment "because it [the investigation] did not reveal any facts of disciplinary importance to charge the newly elected president of the FIGC, Carlo Tavecchio, both in objective and subjective terms."

Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 20

UEFA has announced it will investigate the alleged racist comments recently made by Carlo Tavecchio, who has just been appointed president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).

Tavecchio referenced the term "banana eaters" when speaking of African footballers, reported by Reuters via the Guardian, and UEFA has responded with Wednesday's statement:

Following a request of information made by Uefa on 28 July 2014, Mr Carlo Tavecchio, president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), 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.

Once the report has been completed, the Uefa chief ethics and disciplinary inspector will submit its conclusions to the control, ethics and disciplinary body to render a decision about this matter.

Tavecchio welcomed the development, as noted by the same Guardian article:

I am calm and I respect Uefa’s decision.

It’s something that had to be done, hence, we had foreseen it. I am certain that I will also be able to explain in Uefa’s headquarters my mistake as well as my true intentions.


Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 12

Patrick Vieira, Manchester City's manager of elite development, has publicly criticised the appointment of Carlo Tavecchio as the Italian Football Federation's (FIGC) new president.

Tavecchio made a series of ugly headlines when referring to African footballers as "banana eaters," reported by Reuters via the Guardian, and Vieira expressed his disbelief at the appointment on Twitter:

I'm finding it really hard to believe that Carlo Tavecchio has been elected as president of the Italian FA after the comments that he made. For me, that shows how far away the Italian football authorities are from dealing with discrimination. 63.63% of those that voted are admitting that they aren't fighting against racism, or that they don't want to fight these problems. I played in Italy for years so I know the issues, I saw the issues. 

If he was an English man making this kind of comment, politically, he would be completely out.

This decision was made in football, but I think it is bigger than football. It should make the whole country of Italy look at the message they want to send about what they think about racism.

I can't believe he will represent the Italian Football Authorities. What a shame.


Original Text

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced that Carlo Tavecchio won the presidential election, per Enrico Passarella of The 71-year-old earned 63 percent of the vote, according to Italian Football Daily, winning every round by a substantial margin over fellow candidate Demetrio Albertini.

Tavecchio has been the subject of some negativity due to his comments on African players and women in football.

Despite the likes of Juventus and Italy stalwart Giorgio Chiellini coming out and withdrawing his support for the newly elected president, it didn't sway many other voters' opinions.

Both Tavecchio and Albertini each had their own plans to help improve Italian football. While the latter's appeared far more revolutionary than the former's, the FIGC will move forward with the former president of the amateur leagues in Italy.

This news signals that Italian football may never evolve past the rampant racism that tarnishes the game. Not to mention that women are still treated poorly within the sport. 

This also doesn't bode well for foreign players in the country. They probably feel extremely uncomfortable that someone who uttered those comments is now in charge of practically everything related to football in Italy.

Those players from abroad, like Mario Balotelli, might feel like they have to leave Italy in order to cope with this recent decision. This could affect their performances on the pitch.

If club directors and every other important figurehead weren't affected by what Tavecchio said, then there's an even smaller chance of calcio evolving from what's hurt Serie A's reputation over the last few years. 

The FIGC and the governing bodies will still be run by the same, simple-minded people who are hurting Italian football. If this hasn't changed the majority of opinions within the country, then it will never be different.

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