Sports News of Tuesday, 17 February 2015
Iconic former Italy manager Arrigo Sacchi has caused a racism storm by claiming there are ‘too many black players’ in the country after Ghanaian youngsters dominated the European country’s biggest youth football competition.
Sacchi hit out at the number of foreign players and non-ethnic Italians playing for Italian clubs at this month’s Torneo di Viareggio, which is considered one of the premier youth football tournaments in the world.
A late goal from Ghanaian right-back Bright Gyamfi was enough to give the Beneamata a 2-1 win after Pierluigi Cappelluzzo had cancelled out Federico Bonazzoli’s opener with young striker Appiah in the Inter side.
‘I’m certainly not racist and my history as a coach proves that, starting from [Frank] Rijkaard,’ Sacchi is quoted as saying in Tuttosport.
‘But looking at the Viareggio tournament [a global youth tournament held annually in Italy] 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.’
Former AC Milan boss Sacchi, 68, is widely credited with bringing ‘Total Football’ to Serie A, and made the comments at a ceremony for the Maestrelli prizes in Pistoia.
Sacchi’s last role in the game came as director of football at Real Madrid 10 years ago.
Sacchi had two spells with Milan and was praised for his contribution during his first stint in charge between 1987 and 1991.
The Italian won seven trophies at the San Siro, including two European Cups and a Serie A title.
Mario Balotelli, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Kevin Constant are just some of the players who have been subject to racist abuse from fans over the years in Serie A.