Agnelli: Italian football does not have a problem with racism
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli called on Thursday for the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) to reassess anti-discrimination rules in Serie A but says Italy does not have a problem with racism.
Italy has long fought to flush racist abuse out of its stadiums and this season has introduced a new punishment for "territorial discrimination", in accordance with Uefa guidelines.
AC Milan have been forced to play a game behind closed doors after their supporters contravened the rule by chanting abusive songs about Napoli, prompting Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani to call for the law to be scrapped.
Agnelli echoed Galliani's dissatisfactions and urged the FIGC to clarify their definition of what classified as "territorial discrimination".
"I don't think Italian football particularly has a huge problem against racism," Agnelli told reporters at the Leaders in Football conference in London.
"I think we have implemented a set of regulations that have been set out by Uefa and we have harshened those with 'territorial discrimination'.
"I think the mistake was that when this was passed in the board of the Italian federation at the beginning of August, it wasn't give due consideration and now it's bringing us problems in terms of applying the sanctions that have changed in August.
"One thing is racism, one thing is territorial discrimination, and what that represents also in terms of the chanting of the various football teams.
"I think that everything that can be done against racism should be done, but we should be very careful what we define as racism."
Roma, Lazio and Inter Milan have also been punished under the "territorial discrimination" regulations this season, prompting Inter supporters to propose a league-wide protest against the rule. – AFP.