The president of Italian football club Sampdoria, Massimo Ferrero, has apologized on Sunday over a racist “Kickout that Filipino” remark in reference to Erik Thorir in the latest racism blunder to hit the sport.
And Thorir, the president of the Inter Milan, does not even have a drop of a Filipino blood, but rather an Indonesian.
The racist comment was made by Ferrerro during a live interview with Italian state television RAI while discussing Inter Milan’s honorary president Massimo Moratti’s decision to leave the football club over alleged disagreement with Thorir.
Ferrero slammed the way Moratti was supposedly unfairly treated, defending the latter as a great man who has done a lot of things for the Italian football.
“It’s not right that Moratti was treated this way,” Ferrero said on the sport program Stadio Sprint. “I am very sad for him. I had told him: kick out that Filipino…”
When told by the host Thorir was not a Filipino but an Indonesian, Ferrero quickly retorted: “Don’t defend him, he’s insulted an emblem of Italian football.”
Immediately after the program, Ferrero issued a statement apologizing for his racist remarks and clarified he has no intention of slighting Thorir or the Filipino people, but was only trying to defend Moratti.
“I did not want to show a lack of respect for Mr. Thohir, the Inter directors or the people of the Philippines, who I have always had a wonderful rapport with,” his statement read.
“I was trying to praise Massimo Moratti and all he has given to Inter and Italian football for twenty years. He also brought Italy’s most recent international trophies, exporting our sport in the world,” Ferrero added.
The Italian football has been plagued lately with racism issues and Ferrero’s comment came less than three months after another club official was criticized for referring to African players as “banana eaters”. (Click here to read more)