Serie A chief executive Luigi De Siervo has apologised for the league’s widely criticised anti-racism campaign which featured three side-by-side paintings of apes under the slogan “No to Racism.”
The league has come in for heavy criticism from its own clubs and anti-racism organisation Fare Network, after publishing the paintings produced by Italian artist Simone Fugazzoto. The artwork was set to be exhibited permanently at the entrance of the league’s headquarters in order to “underline the commitment of the world of football against all forms of discrimination.”
Fugazzotto defended the artwork, stating that he “sought to turn around the words of racists,” but the league’s chief executive has admitted the campaign was wide of the mark and that a new proposition will be put forward early next year.
“I express sincere apologies for the artwork that was presented yesterday, I realised it was inappropriate,” De Siervo said in a statement.
“What cannot be questioned is the strong and constant condemnation by Serie A against all forms of discrimination and racism, and we are committed to eradicate this from our beloved league.
“The league is working on its official anti-racism campaign, which cannot be identified with Simone Fugazzotto’s work, and will be presented by the end of February.”
The row over the campaign comes less than two weeks after Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku and Roma’s Chris Smalling condemned a front page from Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport previewing the Serie A clash between the two sides. The page featured images of Lukaku and Smalling alongside the headline “Black Friday.”
Roma and AC Milan banned the publication from attending its matches for the rest of 2019.
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