ROME (AP) — Despite allegations of racism marring his electoral campaign, Carlo Tavecchio was elected the new president of the Italian football federation on Monday.
Tavecchio beat Demetrio Albertini in the race to replace Giancarlo Abete, with the 71-year-old earning 63.63 percent of the votes in the third round of balloting. Albertini received 33.95 percent of the votes cast by the 274 delegates present.
"I will be the president of everyone, especially those who didn't vote for me," Tavecchio said. "I have never been at ease with words. We will carry out reforms together, there are no magic recipes."
Tavecchio had been the outstanding favorite before he sparked outrage recently when he discussed the presence of foreign players in Italy.
Using a hypothetical name, he said, "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."
The statement prompted FIFA to ask the FIGC to investigate, while several leading clubs withdrew support for the amateur leagues president, who originally had the backing of all Serie A teams apart from Juventus and Roma.
AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani was one of the first to congratulate Tavecchio after the election at the Hilton hotel in Fiumicino.
"Practically all of the clubs from Serie A, B, Lega Pro and the amateur league voted, as decided by the respective assemblies, for Carlo Tavecchio," Galliani said. "I would say the most important political fact is that, for the first time ever, there is unity between the four leagues."
Continue reading this story on the...