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Tavecchio elected despite racism row

Carlo Tavecchio was elected as the new president of the Italian FA (FIGC) on Monday, despite the racism row that overshadowed his bid to succeed Giancarlo Abete.

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Tavecchio took 63.33 percent of the vote at a third voting session -- the need for which showed deep divisions in the Italian League -- to beat Demetrio Albertini, the only other candidate.

He became embroiled in controversy after he told the summer meeting of Italy's amateur leagues: "In England, they identify the players coming in and, if they are professional, they are allowed to play.

"Here instead we get 'Opti Poba' [a hypothetical player], who previously ate bananas and then suddenly becomes a first-team player with Lazio. That's how it is here. In England, you need to demonstrate what you have on your CV."

His remark sparked widespread condemnation and calls for him to withdraw his candidacy, while FIFA said it would investigate.

Days later, a video clip emerged, showing Tavecchio -- who, as president of the Italian Amateur Football Association (LND), also oversees women's football -- saying: "We used to think that women were disabled compared to men in terms of stamina and other things. But we've now discovered they're actually quite similar."

In the first round of voting, he failed to obtain the 75 percent share required to be declared the winner. He fell two percent short of the necessary 66 percent in the second round, but took 63 percent in the third, in which 50 percent was the required figure.

"I will be everyone's president, especially of those who did not vote for me," he said. He did not hold a press conference and postponed any decision about the appointment of Italy's next coach until after Aug. 18.

Last week, Tavecchio claimed that "John F. Kennedy's assassin didn't suffer what I've been through in these days" as the row over his remarks continued.

Speaking to Italy's Radio 1, Tavecchio insisted he was not a racist and stressed that he would not withdraw his candidacy.

Juventus and Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini was one of several players to voice condemnation of his remark, telling Sky Sport Italia: "As soon as I heard those words from Tavecchio, I was perturbed.

"There's nothing personal in my words, but I think there is only one person suitable for that role [of president] right now, and that's Demetrio Albertini."

Earlier this month, Fiorentina said they would follow the examples of Juventus and Roma by separating from the block of Serie A clubs set to vote in favour of Tavecchio.

His position as president of the Italian Amateur Football Association (LND) meant he could expect to receive the organisation's 34 percent share of the overall vote in the presidential ballot.


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