UEFA bans FIGC president Carlo Tavecchio for 6 months for comments

UEFA has announced that Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio has been banned for six months following a disciplinary investigation regarding alleged racist comments.

Tavecchio was elected FIGC president in August despite the fact he was embroiled in a racism row over comments he had made the previous month.

He was reported to have told the summer meeting of Italy's amateur leagues in July: "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."

UEFA requested information on the remarks from the FIGC on Aug. 20 and its Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) subsequently launched an investigation.

After over six weeks of deliberation, the governing body announced on Tuesday that, having considered the facts of the case, Tavecchio would be "ineligible for any position as a UEFA official for a period of six months starting from the communication of this decision" but that he accepted his punishment and will not be appealing.

"With regard to the proceedings opened by UEFA against the president of the FIGC for the expressions used on 25 July during an assembly of Italian Amateur Football Association members, Carlo Tavecchio, having explained his own position, has taken note of the proposals drawn up by UEFA's Disciplinary Inspector," said the FIGC statement.

"[Tavecchio] has decided to accept them in order to avoid [the scenario in which] a dispute which would have opposed UEFA and the FIGC would have dragged on for a long period of time and which would only have been resolved by the TAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) to establish whether or not UEFA were competent to intervene in these matters, despite a similar case being dismissed by the [Italian] State Prosecutors.

"President Tavecchio has therefore decided to adhere to the Disciplinary Inspector's proposals. Tavecchio has vowed to launch a special initiative in Italy in favour of integration, which in any case he had announced he would do during the presentation of his manifesto.

"The agreement reached by the president Tavecchio and UEFA's Disciplinary Inspector has been received by [UEFA's] disciplinary committee, bringing an end to the case."