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FIFA toughens racism ban for Italian FA boss

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CARLO-TAVECCHIOZURICH, November 5-FIFA on Wednesday toughened a ban imposed by Europe’s governing body against Italian Football Federation boss Carlo Tavecchio for comments condemned as racist.

UEFA’s six month ban from official activity in Europe has been made worldwide by the global governing body.

“FIFA’s stance against any form of discrimination is unequivocal,” the world body’s disciplinary committee said in announcing the extra punishment for the 71-year-old Tavecchio.

UEFA banned Tavecchio on October 7 for comments made earlier this year during his reelection campaign in July.

The veteran Italian powerbroker contrasted the player-recruitment approach of Italian clubs with English teams. “Here we get ‘Opti Poba’ who previously ate bananas and then suddenly becomes a first-team player at Lazio,” he said at the public meeting in July.

The comments appeared to be aimed at France and Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, who is black, and sparked a major controversy.

The chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee decided to extend the sanction imposed by UEFA, the world body said in a statement.

“As such, Mr Tavecchio is ineligible for any position as a FIFA official for a period of six months starting from 7 October 2014.”

Tavecchio will still be able to attend FIFA’s congress at the end of May once the ban has ended. He has apologised for the comments.

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