Vieira slams Tavecchio appointment

The former France international has reacted angrily to the decision to hand the nation's top footballing job to the controversial 71-year-old

Patrick Vieira has hit out at Italian football’s decision to elect Carlo Tavecchio as its president.

The FIGC confirmed on Monday that Tavecchio had won the right to replace Giancarlo Abete at the head of the nation's football federation despite having made inflammatory comments recently which called his views on race into question.

And former Juventus and Inter star Vieira has reacted angrily to the appointment with a strongly-worded statement on Twitter.

"I'm finding it really hard to believe that Carlo Tavecchio has been elected as president of the Italian FA after the comments that he made," began Vieira.

"For me, that shows how far away the Italian football authorities are from dealing with discrimination. 63.63% of those that voted are admitting that they aren't fighting against racism, or that they don't want to fight these problems. I played in Italy for years so I know the issues, I saw the issues.

"If he was an English man making this kind of comment, politically, he would be completely out."

The Frenchman, who also numbered Arsenal and Manchester City among his clubs during a glittering career, continued: "This decision was made in football, but I think it is bigger than football. It should make the whole country of Italy look at the message they want to send about what they think about racism.

"I can't believe he will represent the Italian Football Authorities. What a shame."

Tavecchio apologised for his "banana-eater" comment soon after the incident, but there was further controversy when it emerged he had belittled the women’s game in a TV interview in 2009.

The 71-year-old replaces Abete, who resigned from his post along with coach Cesare Prandelli immediately after Italy were knocked out of the World Cup by Uruguay in June.