Arrigo Sacchi reminds us that racism still exists in Italian football

by Mark Bassey

The best time to get a interviewee’s most honest comments, is usually in the heat of the moment.

And so, when La Gazzetta dello Sport spoke to former AC Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi about football in Italy, they harvested damning remarks.

“Italian football is now without dignity or pride because it makes too many foreigners playing also in the youth teams,” he is quoted as saying by the newspaper.

“In our youth sides there are too many black players.

“I’m certainly not racist, which my history as a coach proves, starting with Frank Rijkaard, but watching the Viareggio Tournament, I would say that there are too many black players.

“Italy has no dignity, no pride, you cannot have teams made up of 15 foreigners.”

And you honestly thought FIFA was doing enough or had done enough to drive out racism from the sport?

Look at Milan as a club. Clarence Seedorf became the first black manager in Serie A in almost two decades and after a bad run, he was shown the door.

Fillipo walked in and has been given all the time he needs to flop. He still has a job despite a horrendous run.

Sacchi insisted later that, “I have been misinterpreted. Imagine if I’m racist. I only said that I saw at a game with a team that fielded four black guys.

“My story is clear, I always coached teams with different colours and I bought many, both in Milan and at Real Madrid. I just wanted to point out that we are losing pride and our national identity.”

We still won’t buy it. Just wait for Juventus’ Paul Pogba to win a major prize and more honest comments will tumble out.

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