Hey, remember that time Felice Belloli, president of Italy’s amateur soccer association, called female soccer players a “bunch of lesbians” Well, now Saturday’s scheduled women’s cup final between Brescia and Tavagnacco has been canceled in protest.
Players and coaches in Serie A and Serie B met in Milan to discuss Belloli’s comments. Tuesday, AIAC-AIC, the association representing women players and coaches, released a statement saying the Coppa Italia final would be canceled and announced its intention to leave the jurisdiction of the national amateur league.
“After 30 years of inefficiency and inaction, we believe the time has come to give autonomy to women’s football by leaving the national amateur league.”
It also called for the resignation of Belloli.
The “bunch of lesbians” comment comes from March during a meeting to discuss funding for the women’s leagues.
“That’s enough, we can’t always talk about giving money to this handful of lesbians,” he allegedly said.
The comment was in the minutes from the meeting. Belloli is currently denying that he said it, claiming that someone tampered with the minutes. Former player and counselor of the women’s soccer department in Italy Sonia Pessotto was at the meeting and claims he used the phrase.
As Kirsten Schlewitz put it when the news came out:
To be clear, “lesbians” is not an insult, and if you’re trying to use it that way, you should probably take some time to consider your life choices. But referring to all of Italy’s female players in such a manner definitely is insulting – and homophobic and sexist and a bunch of other things a public official shouldn’t be. The FIGC is taking the allegations seriously and has opened an investigation.
The amateur soccer association is expected to meet Wednesday to discuss Belloli’s future.