Johannesburg, Aug 21 ANI | 1 year ago

European football's governing body UEFA has reportedly opened up an investigation into a comment made by new Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio, which has been widely condemned as racist.

At a public meeting last month, Tavecchio had said that there they get 'Opti Poba' who previously ate bananas and then suddenly becomes a first-team player at Lazio.

The comments, which appeared to be aimed at France and Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, sparked controversy in Italy with many commentators condemning what they saw as an overtly racist outburst, Sport24 reported.

Tavecchio has acknowledged that he should not have made the remark but insists he was only guilty of a clumsy turn of phrase. He said in a statement posted on the FIGC's website shortly after the announcement of the probe on Wednesday that he is calm and respectful of UEFA's decision.

Tavecchio said that UEFA is doing its duty and they had expected this but he said that he is sure that he would be able to explain both his error and true intentions at the European football governing body's headquarters.

Earlier this week, Tavecchio insisted that he had a clear conscience over the episode and dismissed suggestions he was a racist. He said that he had adopted three African children, and also run a tomato-growing cooperative there and built two hospitals.

Tavecchio said that he did not meant to hurt anybody.

(Posted on 21-08-2014)

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