Carlo Tavecchio of the “banana eaters’” fame has been appointed Italian Football Federation president and former Super Eagles midfielder, Sunday Oliseh, is unhappy.
According to Oliseh, the development represents a “dark day for football”.
Tavecchio caused a stir during his election campaign after making a racist comment about some players being “banana eaters”. The 71-year-old has since apologised for his remark, but Oliseh is not buying it.
“To have someone elected who would make such a comment sends a message: ‘We don’t care’,” Oliseh told BBC Sport.
Tavecchio beat former AC Milan player Demetrio Albertini in the final round of the polling with 63.63 per cent of the vote.
“That he won the majority of the votes makes you question if this opinion is only his or whether it is also the opinion of the general public in Italy,” Oliseh added.
“It is a big problem. The African players in Italy will still have to do their work and give their best. Some players may want to leave but might not get the opportunity to do so.
“For years, black payers have had to fight against racism just to ply their trade and it is a situation that is out of hand.”
Head of FIFA anti-racism task force, Jeffrey Webb, said “the football community is appalled” by Tavecchio’s comment, but Oliseh, who played in Italy for Reggiana and Juventus, wants state football federations to join the world governing body “to wage war against racism”.
“Fifa is making a big effort to fight racism and I applaud the steps so far, but more has to be done. It is also up to the country federations to act.
“When the Italian federation elects a man who makes these racist comments, you have to think that it is unlikely black people would be employed by that organisation and that is a shameful thing.
“But whatever happens, whatever comments are made, we will stand as one and black people in football will not cease to exist.”