Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Oh, Italy…


So while campaigning for FIGC President, Carlo Tavecchio made a racist comment. The Italian Disciplinary Committee “investigated” the matter and determined he did not do anything wrong. Yesterday, UEFA, who had held their own investigation, found that he did. They have banned him from participating in a UEFA congress or holding any position in UEFA for six months. Also, he will have to organize a special event in Italy to help raise awareness of racism and increase compliance with UEFA’s policies on racism. He is not stepping down, and the FIGC has vowed to support him. Basically, neither Italy nor Tavecchio know what racism is or isn’t. Oh, Italy…

"It's okay, Carlo, I've got your back."


I have written about racism in Italy before, both on a very serious note and also adding a slight bit of humor in offering ideas for dealing with people who are guilty of racism. But I don’t even know what to write about Tavecchio. Here he is the one charged with enforcing all of the FIGC and UEFA policies, and he didn’t even see anything wrong with what he said. Neither did Italy, though, and that is both shocking and disturbing. One person did stand up, former Milan player Demetrio Albertini. He stood up and ran against Tavecchio, and more recently, apparently resigned as vice president of the FIGC. But one voice is not enough. This is a huge problem that needs the masses to fix.

All of my life, I have looked to Italy as a travel destination and place of culture and beauty. I studied the language, learned to cook the foods, worshipped the fashion, and became obsessed with calcio, not to mention the beautiful Italian men. I very seriously considered moving there, even as I had a family, because I was so in love with everything I knew about the country. But I guess every country has its down side, and the racism and sexism that are so rampant in Italy are a gigantic down side for me.

"You mean if we eat this banana in public, people will believe we're not racist? Sweet."

That Tavecchio has made comments both racist and sexist in nature and almost no one in Italy stood up to question it makes me physically ill. That it took UEFA to step in and say “hey, this isn’t okay” is appalling. I’m still waiting for anyone to say anything about his sexist comments, but the world is apparently not ready to give that nasty little habit up just yet.

But for me, I have to seriously consider my life choices now. I was better off before I knew calcio had such a viciously ugly side. And the more I learn, the more sick it makes me. I don’t even know what more to say about it, other than vergogna! Shame on you, Tavecchio. Shame on you, FIGC for continuing to back him. Shame on you, Italy, for not collectively standing up and making sure that this line is never crossed again. It is horrific that this ever happened in the first place, and disgusting that so many accept this barbaric practice. Oh, Italy…


This post inspired by the music of Rage Against the Machine