Carlo Tavecchio, the president of the
Italian Soccer Federation, insisted on Monday that he's not
homophobic despite saying that he prefers to avoid gays.
On Sunday, Milan daily Corriere
della Sera published quotes from a recording made last year in
which Tavecchio is heard saying that he has “nothing against
[gays], but keep them away from me. I am very normal.”
Tavecchio said in a statement posted on
the federation's website that his remarks were made during a private
conversation and that he was unaware that they had been recorded, the
New York Times reported.
“I have never discriminated against
anyone” for being gay, he said. “I respect everyone's choices.”
The 72-year-old Tavecchio added that he
does not think that being gay should be a crime.
In the same recording, Tavecchio can be
heard saying it's “best to keep [Jews] at bay” and complains
about the sale of a building to a “lousy Jew.”
He insisted Monday that he's not