Despite a criminal record that includes various convictions for tax evasion, forgery and abuse of office, and a history of making racist and sexist remarks, Carlo Tavecchio was elected president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) on August 11.
(Goal.com provides his rap sheet here.)
According to The Guardian, the 71-year-old won 63.63 percent of votes cast in the third round of balloting and 18 of the 20 Serie A clubs lined up in support of the former head of Italy’s amateur football apparatus, as per Goal.
Not surprisingly, UEFA launched an inquiry into Tavecchio’s most controversial comments regarding foreign players in the days after his election, following-up on FIFA’s request that the FIGC take similar measures.
La Repubblica, as relayed by The Guardian, quoted him as follows:
England identifies the players coming in and, if they are professional, they are allowed to play. [In Italy], on the other hand, let’s say there’s [fictional player] Opti Poba who has come here, who previously was eating bananas and now is a first-team player for Lazio. In England he has to demonstrate his CV and his pedigree.
Italian FA president Carlo Tavecchio to face Uefa investigation after he allegedly made racist remarks during his election campaign— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) August 20, 2014
Patrick Vieira, who represented AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus over the course of his playing career, was quick to criticize Tavecchio’s election, offering via Twitter that he found it “hard to believe that Carlo Tavecchio has been elected president of the Italian FA after the comments that he made,” according to the Daily Mail.
Current Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini also chimed in, saying, “We need a person with a certain decorum and personality to perform certain roles,” as per the Daily Mail.
FIGC rules Tavecchio's comments about black players' eating bananas were not cause for discipline. Apparently no rule against that. OK then.— Andrew Das (@AndrewDasNYT) August 25, 2014
On Monday Tavecchio was at it again.
In an interview with Radio Rai, as reported by Forza Italian Fooball, the new FIGC chief said that “there are too many foreigners in the league. It’s one of the problems of Italian football.”
For his xenophobia, and the fact that it seemed to matter little when he ran for the FIGC presidency, Carlo Tavecchio and his electors are our World Football Villains of the Month for August.