Amateur footballers in Italy have created their own football team, hitting back at comments made by Italian football league president Carlo Tavecchio in July last year.
The 71-year-old who was the Italian Football Federation vice-president and Amateur Leagues president at the time of his comments controversially said:
‘In England they select players based on professionalism, whereas we say that old “Opti Poba” [a hypothetical player] is here now, so lets take him, he was eating bananas before but now he’s starting for Lazio and that’s OK.’
A team of black players called the Opti Poba’s has now been formed and has joined an amateur championship in southern Italy in protest to comments made by Carlo Tavecchio.
In the statement mission for the Opti Poba’s, they say they are formed by people who are often accepted into the country, but not really welcomed in the true sense of the word.
A spokesman said that he hopes they can let the football do the talking and act as a permanent reminder of why it is important to continue to fight against racism.
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