Webb calls on football officials to “speak responsibly”29 July 2014

CONCACAFPresidentandFIFAanti-discriminationTaskForceChairman,JeffreyWebb,hascalledonfootballofficials“tospeakandactinaresponsiblemanner”followingtheItalianFootballFederation(FIGC)vice-president’sracistremarksaboutAfricanfootballersinthecountry.

In statement, Webb said: “The football community is appalled by the recent racist comments made by Mr. Carlo Tavecchio, a year after FIFA Member Associations unanimously approved a resolution to fight against racism and discrimination.

“As guiding voices within our communities, we strongly urge all football officials to speak and act in a responsible manner, adhering to the principle of respect that every human merits.”

The remarks by Tavecchio were made at the summer assembly of Italy’s amateur leagues, where the leading candidate to be the new Italian football federation president referred to African players as “banana eaters”.

Travecchio has since faced fierce criticism from Italian politicians, Serie A clubs and other football figures.

Need for ‘exemplary leadership’
After addressing the issue with the FIGC, FIFA have announced they will look deeper into the incident.

“The FIGC and the football family at large deserve exemplary leadership capable of directing the industry in a transparent way for a dignified, diverse and inclusive society” Webb said.

The Concacaf President had previously pointed to “deep rooted” racism in Italy, after Mario Balotelli was subjected to abuse, while training with the national team, ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“National associations obviously really have to not just talk about zero tolerance — they have to put action behind it.

“Unfortunately, it just shows the deep rooted racism and prejudice that exists in the Italian community and society at large.”

Earlier this month, Webb also raised concerns about the world governing body’s lack of action against discrimination during the World Cup saying that there had been a “disconnect” between FIFA’s stated aim of stamping out discrimination at games and its failure to back a proposal to use trained staff in Brazil to investigate and report on cases.

JeffreyWebbCONCACAF