Sampdoria football chief sanctioned for racist slur

Sampdoria football chief sanctioned for racist slur
Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero has been handed a three-month ban and fined €45,000 for racist slurs. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP
Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero has been handed a three-month ban and given fines totalling €45,000 for racist slurs aimed at Inter president Erick Thohir, the Italian football federation (FIGC) announced.

Ferrero, a film director who took over the Genoa-based Serie A club at the end of last season, caused an uproar in October after referring to Thohir, an Indonesian, as a "Filipino" during a television interview on Rai Sport.

FIGC officials launched a probe and have handed down sanctions that will see Ferrero banned from office for three months. He was handed a fine of €10,000 while Sampdoria were fined €35,000.

A statement by the FIGC said: "The National Federal Court… has given Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero a three-month ban and €10,000 fine for offensive remarks about Inter president Erick Thohir, made on October 26th.

"The club has also been sanctioned with a fine of €35,000."

When asked on the October 26th programme about Massimo Moratti's decision to resign as the honorary president of Inter, Ferrero replied: "It's not right that Moratti was treated like this. I am very sad for him. I told him: kick out that Filipino…"

The FIGC statement added: "In statements made specifically by Ferrero, the term 'Filipino' is not only racist in nature but also refers to the social roles that workers of that nationality may occupy.

"It is not credible that Ferrero, the president of a Serie A club, did not know the true nationality of Thohir."

Ferrero, a flamboyant character known for his outspoken views and for running onto the pitch to join team celebrations, responded to the sanction in customary fashion – a picture of himself with a length of duct tape stuck across his mouth.

A brief message from Ferrero said: "Good morning! I thank the sports justice with all my heart for having committed a baseless mistake by sanctioning me with a ban and a fine."

Sampdoria are having a great start to the season under the helm of former Lazio and Inter midfielder Sinisa Mihajlovic and sit fourth, 10 points behind leaders Juventus but firmly in contention for a Champions League place.

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