Uefa says it is to launch disciplinary proceedings against Carlo Tavecchio, president of the Italian soccer federation (FIGC), into alleged racist remarks made during his election campaign.
The 71-year-old was voted in as president of Italy’s governing football body on August 18 with 63.63% of the vote. During the run-up to the election, he made a jibe about a fictitious player, saying he “previously ate bananas and then suddenly becomes a first team player with Lazio”.
Uefa said in a statement: “Carlo Tavecchio … 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.”
Europe’s governing football body said a report would be handed to its ethics and disciplinary panel “to render a decision about this matter”.
Former France midfielder Patrick Vieira said he found it “hard to believe” that Tavecchio had been voted in with such a large percentage.
Vieira, who played for Juventus and Inter Milan, says the election shows how far away the Italian football authorities are from dealing with discrimination.
“Sixty-three percent of those that voted are admitting that they are not fighting 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,” added Vieira.