Italian FA chief unconcerned over racism inquiry

The Associated PressSeptember 4, 2014
Racism ruling coming for Italian soccer president
Italian soccer federation president Carlo Tavecchio waits for the start of a friendly soccer match between Italy and The Netherlands in Bari, Italy, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

BARI, Italy (AP) -- The Italian football federation's new president is unconcerned about an investigation by UEFA over his alleged racist comment.

Speaking to RAI state TV at halftime of an Italy-Netherlands friendly on Thursday, Carlo Tavecchio says, ''I'm serene, because I was cleared in Italy. But if I'm summoned I'll defend myself and show that I'm innocent.''

Tavecchio, a long-standing executive in Italian football, was elected last month despite causing a stir over a reference to bananas when discussing the presence of foreign players in Italy.

While the Italian federation's internal prosecutor dropped his inquiry over the comment 10 days ago, UEFA is expected to issue a ruling in the coming days.

UEFA could suspend Tavecchio for one to three months and fine him if he is found guilty.