World players' union responds to UEFA ban for the President of the Italian Football Federation.
If we really want to eradicate racism and discrimination from football then it needs to be removed from top to bottom, and the top must set the example.
Tony Higgins, FIFPro's spokesperson on anti-racism
FIFPro, the world players' union has today noted that UEFA has sanctioned Carlo Tavecchio, the President of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), for his racist remarks earlier this year.
Although the UEFA ban confirms that Mr Tavecchio is unfit to lead the FIGC, it does not solve the disturbing situation in Italian professional football. UEFA decided to sanction Tavecchio with a six month ban, after a disciplinary investigation regarding racist comments made during his presidential election campaign. This means that he is not allowed to participate in any UEFA activity during the next six months. But domestically nothing really changes.
Mr. Tavecchio is still in office as the FIGC President and he still has the support of Italian leagues.Tavecchio still does not have the support of the professional footballers and a vast majority of the Italian general public.
"We expected this sanction", says Stefano Sartori, AIC's Head of Labour Relations. "The punishment is correct, considering the comments that Mr. Tavecchio made."
"The UEFA punishment is a confirmation that Mr Tavecchio was the wrong candidate for this job. Unfortunately he still is the President of the FIGC."
"It is strange that both UEFA and FIGC opened disciplinary proceedings against Mr Tavecchio with different conclusions. Apparently there is something wrong with the Italian disciplinary code..."
FIFPro supports the opinion of the AIC, says Tony Higgins, FIFPro's spokesperson on anti-racism. "During the last few months we have witnessed many racist incidents and most of them have been dealt with appropriately by UEFA and the FA's, resulting in bans for supporters' misbehaviour and even footballers."
"Unfortunately when the case concerns a FA President the normal rules of procedure do not apply in the domestic situation. An FA President should lead by example and be the acceptable face of the country's football family. We cannot accept that different rules apply to different members of the football family."
"If we really want to eradicate racism and discrimination from football then it needs to be removed from top to bottom, and the top must set the example. If not every anti-racism campaign will be greatly diminished."