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 By Ben Gladwell

Arrigo Sacchi responds after Sepp Blatter criticises racist remarks

Former Italy coach Arrigo Sacchi says he chose his words poorly.

Arrigo Sacchi has hit back at Sepp Blatter after the FIFA president condemned the alleged racist remarks he made earlier this week.

Sacchi insists his words were taken out of context and maintains he is not a racist, despite saying that there are too many foreign and black players coming through the youth systems in Italy.

Those words drew widespread criticism from across football, including Blatter and high-profile agent Mino Raiola.

"I'm shocked, although in truth not all that much," Sacchi told Mediaset television on Wednesday night. "I've been in football for 42 years and I've never been racist. I don't think I've suddenly become one at the age of 68.

"I've coached coloured players. Clearly I was not being careful about what I said and I explained in an unfortunate way the current problems that Italian football has, and one of these is that there is too big a number of foreign players.

"To talk about black players in Italy today unleashes all those moralists and do-gooders who maybe need to purify their conscience.

"Some people don't even warrant a reply from me. I know their story -- the whole world does, just like the whole world knows mine.

"I'm only sorry that, in these days, people seem to have lost their memory. If I've not managed to make myself clear in 42 years, then I'm going to have to stay on this planet for a further 20 to be understood."

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