What's buzzing:

Italian FA candidate criticized for racist comment

The Associated Press

ROME (AP) -- A leading candidate for Italian football federation president is facing fierce criticism and calls to step aside following a racist comment.

Amateur leagues president Carlo Tavecchio caused a stir on Friday when he discussed the presence of foreign players in Italy.

''In England they select players based on professionalism, whereas we say that 'Opti Poba' is here, he was eating bananas before and now he's starting for Lazio and that's OK,'' Tavecchio said, using a hypothetical name and situation.

Tavecchio apologized and claimed he is not racist but the players' and coaches' associations both expressed outrage.

The Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper also called for the 71-year-old Tavecchio to stand down in an editorial Sunday.

The only other candidate in the Aug. 11 election is former AC Milan player and current federation vice president Demetrio Albertini.

Former FIGC president Giancarlo Abete resigned along with national team coach Cesare Prandelli immediately after Italy's first-round elimination from the World Cup last month.

The vote is considered pivotal for the future of Italian football, which is rife with problems such as falling attendance, crumbling stadiums, fan violence and racism - plus early eliminations for the national team at the last two World Cups.

The new president's first job will be to name a replacement for Prandelli.

View Comments (2)
  • Hart hopeful for a solution surrounding his City future

    Hart hopeful for a solution surrounding his City future

    (Reuters) - Joe Hart is positive that a solution will be reached surrounding his future at Manchester City, the goalkeeper has said after helping the club advance to the group stages of the Champions League. The 29-year-old made his first start … More »

    Reuters - 3 minutes 54 seconds ago
  • Blatter appears at CAS for appeal against ban

    Blatter appears at CAS for appeal against ban

    By Cecile Mantovani LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter appeared before sport's highest tribunal, the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS), on Thursday to appeal against his six-year ban from soccer. The … More »

    Reuters - 23 minutes ago
  • Drinkwater signs new five-year deal with Leicester

    Drinkwater signs new five-year deal with Leicester

    (Reuters) - Midfielder Danny Drinkwater has signed a new five-year deal with Leicester City that will keep him at the club until 2021, the Premier League champions announced on Thursday. Drinkwater, who joined Leicester from Manchester United in … More »

    Reuters - 24 minutes ago
  • FIFA pay panel meets next week to set Infantino's salary

    After six months of working without a contract, FIFA President Gianni Infantino is set to get a pay deal. FIFA said Thursday that its newly appointed compensation panel will meet next week to work on setting the salary for Infantino and other top … More »

    AP - Sports - 29 minutes ago
  • Liverpool's Sturridge frustrated with wide role under Klopp

    Liverpool's Sturridge frustrated with wide role under Klopp

    (Reuters) - Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge has urged manager Juergen Klopp to deploy him in his favoured centre forward position, where he operates on "autopilot". The 26-year-old scored twice after coming on as a substitute in their 5-0 win against … More »

    Reuters - 39 minutes ago