Women's final scrapped over 'lesbian' slur

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Italy's footballers Lisa Boattin and Carlotta Cartellide celebrate after defeating Venezuela in their Fifa U-17 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2014. Photo: Ezequiel Becerra/AFP
14:46 CEST+02:00
The Italian women’s football cup final has been scrapped after a football chief allegedly described women players as “lesbians”.

Brescia had been due to play Tavagnacco in the final on Saturday but the game has been cancelled in protest over the comments, AIAC-AIC, the association representing women players and coaches, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The decision was the outcome of a meeting in Milan between players and coaches representing the women’s Serie A and B leagues.

Felice Belloli, the head of the national amateur league, last week sparked furore over the comments, which are alleged to have been made during a meeting in March with the board of the league’s women’s unit to discuss funding for women’s football.

“That’s enough, we can’t always talk about giving money to this handful of lesbians,” he allegedly said.

The comments were recorded in the minutes of the meeting, and sent to the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), which is mulling whether to open an investigation.

Valeria Fedeli, the vice president of Italy’s Senate, took to Twitter to condemn the comments.

“Sexism and homophobia are a serious problem in football,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, Luisa Rizzitelli, the president of Assist, the national association for female athletes, called on Belloli to immediately resign and for the football federation, as well as premier Matteo Renzi, to support the request.

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Belloli has denied the allegations, telling Ansa last week that it needs to be proven that the comments came from him.

"After 30 years of inefficiency and inaction, we believe the time has come to give autonomy to women's football by leaving the national amateur league," AIAC-AIC added.

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