Oliseh laments racist Carlo Tavecchio appointment as Italy FA boss
Carlo Tavecchio’s appointment as Italian Football Federation president represents a “dark day for football”, says ex-Nigeria player Sunday Oliseh.
Tavecchio caused controversy during his election campaign by making a racist comment about some players being “banana eaters”.
The 71-year-old has since apologised for his remark.
“To have someone elected who would make such a comment sends a message: ‘We don’t care’,” Oliseh told BBC Sport.
Tavecchio took 63.63% of the vote in the final round of polling to beat former AC Milan player Demetrio Albertini.
“That he won the majority of the votes makes you question if this opinion is only his or whether it is also the opinion of the general public in Italy,” added Oliseh. “It is a big problem.
“The African players in Italy will still have to do their work and give their best. Some players may want to leave but might not get the opportunity to do so.
“For years black payers have had to fight against racism just to ply their trade and it is a situation that is out of hand.”
Jeffrey Webb, the head of Fifa’s anti-racism taskforce said “the football community is appalled” by Tavecchio’s comment.
And Oliseh, who played in Italy for Reggiana and Juventus, backed the world governing body to continue “to wage war against racism”.
He said: “Fifa is making a big effort to fight racism and I applaud the steps so far, but more has to be done. It is also up to the country federations to act.
“When the Italian Federation elects a man who makes these racist comments you have to think that it is unlikely black people would be employed by that organisation and that is a shameful thing.
“But whatever happens, whatever comments are made, we will stand as one and black people in football will not cease to exist.”