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17th Feb 2015

Former Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi says there are ‘too many’ black players in Italian football

Former coach thinks Italy's clubs are 'losing pride and dignity'

Kevin McGillicuddy

I’m not a racist but…

We have a bit of a soft spot for Italian managers around these parts and not just because old twinkly eyes himself Giovanni Trappatoni

Fabio Capello, Marcelo Lippi and Cesare Prandelli are all very very cool men and also top class managers.

We also used to think that Arrigo Sacchi was a fairly OK guy until this off-the-wall rant about underage football in Italy last night.

The former Milan coach is one of the best managers’s of all time, but he sparked outrage when he said last night that there are ‘too many’ black players in Italian youth football teams.

He even prefaced the remarks with the classic ‘I’m not a racist, but…’ line beloved by Fr Ted.

‘I’m certainly not racist, and my history as a coach proves that, starting from Rijkaard. 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’

After the crowd showed his disgust at the comments Sacchi tried to backtrack, saying that he had been misunderstood,

‘I have been misinterpreted. Imagine if was 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 identity.’

His comments are particularly ill-judged considering the history of racist incidents in Italian football with players Kevin-Prince Boateng and Mario Ballotelli suffering at the hands of idiotic fans.

H/T Daily Mail

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