Sampdoria football chief sanctioned for racist slur

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.

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

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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The Italian who created Kinder Surprise dies aged 83

William Salice, who helped create the hugely popular Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs for children, died in Italy on Thursday aged 83, his foundation said.

The Italian who created Kinder Surprise dies aged 83
The success of Kinder Surprise eggs, containing gifts, was swift and lasting. Photo: John MacDougall/AFP

Salice had been undergoing treatment for a stroke in a hospital in the northern Italian town of Pavia, his Color Your Life foundation and Italian media reports said Friday.

He joined the Ferrero food group in 1960 and went on to become right-hand man to company boss Michele Ferrero, a visionary who invented the Nutella chocolate and hazelnut spread and who died in 2015.

In the 1970s, the chocolate baron was seeking a means to get around the seasonal nature of Easter eggs and find a use for the manufacturing moulds that served no purpose for much of the year.

The outcome was the Kinder Surprise, a chocolate egg containing little plastic parts of toys to be assembled by children. The contents of the capsules inside the eggs varied widely and the success of the product was swift and lasting.

Ferrero has sold billions of Kinder Surprise eggs in more than 40 years and claims that its monthly output consists of enough chocolate to pave the 400,000 square metres (4.3 million square feet) of the Monterrey Macroplaza in Mexico.

“The inventor is Ferrero, I was just the material executor,” Salice often repeated, but he played a part in the creation of other renowned products such as the Ferrero Rocher and Pocket Coffee.

The Turin native retired in 2007 with a bonus of €400,000 ($422,000). He invested the sum in his Color Your Life campus on the Italian Riviera, aimed at enabling children aged between 13 and 18 to foster their strongest talents.

The huge success of Kinder Surprise eggs has on occasion been overshadowed by tragedy, including the death in Toulouse last January of a little girl aged three who choked on a toy. After an investigation the prosecutor cleared Ferrero.

The eggs are banned in the United States under a 1938 law prohibiting the insertion of any objects into food products, while in Chile they were banned last summer under new legislation to combat obesity.