Arrigo Sacchi clarifies 'too many black players' comments

Former coaching great Arrigo Sacchi tried to clarify his remarks on Monday after stating he thought there were too many black players in Italy's national team pipeline.

"I'm certainly not racist and my history as a coach proves that, starting from [Frank] Rijkaard" Sacchi had said at an awards ceremony, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"But looking at the Viareggio tournament I feel like saying that there are too many black players, even in the youth teams.

"Italy has no dignity, no pride. It's not possible that our teams should have 15 foreign players in the squad."

The Viareggio tournament is a prestigious international youth competition held annually in Viareggio, Tuscany.

Sacchi, who came to fame as the coach of the legendary AC Milan side that won consecutive European Cups in 1989 and 1990, later attempted to clarify his remarks, according to the outlet, saying his words had been misrepresented.

"I've been misinterpreted, you think I'm really racist? All I said was I saw a game featuring a team who fielded four coloured players," he told the site.

"My history speaks for itself, I've always coached teams with great players from every colour and I've brought in a lot, whether to Milan or [Real] Madrid.

"I only wanted to underline that we are losing our national pride and identity."

Mino Raiola, a high profile agent whose clients include Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Mario Balotelli, blasted Sacchi via Twitter for the comments.

His subsequent tweets encouraged fans to avoid racism and get support all players.