sport

Controversy over Italian chief

The controversial Carlo Tavecchio has been elected the new president of the Italian Football Federation, despite his campaign being overshadowed by allegations of racism.

The 71-year-old gained a majority vote of 63% to beat the challenge of Demetrio Albertini, who received 34% of the votes cast by the attending 274 delegates, made up from Serie A, Serie B, the Lega Pro, the Amateur League, the Players' Association, the Coaches' Association and the Referees' Association.

Tavecchio sparked a row recently when he gave a speech bemoaning the lack of opportunities for Italian players and made a reference to African players \"eating bananas\".

This led to several leading clubs withdrawing their support for the new president, who originally had the backing of the majority of Serie A teams.

Following his election, Tavecchio called on all everyone to forget their differences.

\"I can honestly state that I will draw many conclusions from what has happened in the last few weeks,\" he said.

\"And I am sure that I will take advantage of that in a time when words and appearance are more important than thoughts and essence.

\"I will try and conduct myself in a better way - as somebody has fairly defined it: a bit rough and with no glamour.\"

One of Tavecchio's first duties in his new role will be to help choose the successor to Cesare Prandelli, who left his role as Italian national team coach following the World Cup.