Italian amateur league president sacked for ‘lesbians’ comment26 May 2015

FeliceBelloli,presidentoftheItalianNationalAmateurLeague(LND),hasbeensackedfromhispost overhissexistandhomophobiccommentsmadeataLNDmeetingon5March,wherehereferredtofemaleplayersas“abunchoflesbians”.

On Thursday 21 May, a motion of no confidence in Belloli was passed unanimously at a meeting of the presidents of the LND regional committees, whilst similar steps were taken by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) on the same day in Rome.

The LND and FIGC move was greeted by the coach of ACF Brescia Femminile, Milena Bertolini, who told local media that this could mark a first step towards the development of women’s football in Italy and help lay the foundation for bringing “Italian women’s football to the level of other major European countries.”

The incident came to light on 14 May through a report in which the Italian football website made public the 65 year-old remarks.

Following the comments, which sparked outrage in Italy, players of the two finalist clubs of the Italian women’s cup, Brescia and Tavagnacco, threatened to boycott the final, but the event went ahead as originally scheduled after the sacking of Belloli.