Italian giants Roma’s sporting director has made a statement apologising after being heavily criticised for saying “this is not a ballerina’s sport” after his side had a goal disallowed.
Roma Sporting Director Gianluca Petrachi came under heavy criticism after he made sexist comments in a press conference after his team’s draw with Cagliari match at the Olympic Stadium in the Italian capital Rome.
Roma drew the match after a goal by their striker Nikola Kalinic was disallowed for pushing Cagliari defender Fabio Pisacane into his goalkeeper before tapping the ball into the net.
Petrachi voiced his frustration in the post-match press conference. He said: “Football is a man’s sport, this is not a ballerina’s sport, it is not classical dance.”
Petrachi’s comments were not well-received by many such as Italian women’s national team boss Milena Bertolini who took to social media to comment on what he said.
She said: “Petrachi continues to have the same point of view as many Italians towards women with football.
“We need to understand what he meant to say: If he meant to say that women are more fragile and we do not have the strength or determination, he really has no idea what he is saying.”
Petrachi apologised for the comments the following day when he spoke with Italian news outlet ANSA. He said: “I apologise if anyone has been offended by what I said. It was not my intention to insinuate that football is a sport exclusively for men and not appropriate for women.
“I was angry because they ruled out a legal goal and I wanted to emphasise that football has always been a contact sport. Football is everyone’s and in Roma, we are very proud of our women’s squad and promote feminine football.”
Roma are currently 5th in the Serie A and Cagliari are 7th after seven matches played..
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Story By: Juan Mayes , Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
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