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 By Ben Gladwell

Tomassi wants action for Tavecchio

Head of the Italian Professional Footballers' Association (AIC) Damiano Tommasi has called for sanctions to be imposed on new Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio.

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Tavecchio was elected on Monday, in spite of being accused of making a racial slur which marred his election campaign, although he has since apologised for his "banana-eater" remark.

However, Tommasi, who won 25 caps for Italy as a player, feels the FIGC chief's apology is still not enough.

"I believe Tavecchio should be punished," Tommasi said in Tuttosport. "I don't want to tell those who make the decisions what to do, but I think it would be right to examine the case from a discriminatory viewpoint, just like they would do for a player who insults another one on the field or the fans who make certain chants, when their clubs get punished for being objectively responsible."

According to Tommasi, simply sweeping Tavecchio's comments under the carpet would leave the FIGC open to attack.

"If you want any anti-racism campaign to be viewed with credibility, then it will depend on how Tavecchio's remarks are dealt with," said Tommasi, who was opposed to Tavecchio's election ahead of the only other candidate Demetrio Albertini.

"If you want to launch a campaign against cancer, then you've first got to put out the cigarette at least because that's part of the message you are trying to send out.

"If those who make the decisions do not view those words as punishable, then we will draw our own conclusions. Certainly something has to be done, excuses and corrections are not enough."

FIFA and UEFA both called on the FIGC to investigate Tavecchio's remarks prior to his election as president.

Now the elections are out of the way, Tommasi believes the time has come for such an investigation to deliver answers.

"We didn't want to raise our voice during the election campaign as it would have been seen as trying to influence the vote," Tommasi said.

"Now the majority has chosen Tavecchio and this is democracy, and we are not contesting that. We don't want to judge the person, but to examine what he said. Now is the right time to react to what happened."


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