Sports

Gattuso chastises accusers over racist comments, others

by Oviri Kelvin, Editor, Abuja

Valencia coach Gennaro Gattuso said he is startled over the recent accusations of sexism, racism and homophobia meted on his person by some of the club fans.

Gattuso, who recently joined the club on a two-year deal, described the incident as surreal, adding that he has to clarify himself from these unfounded accusations.

According to a report by Gazzetta, Valencia fans were against the idea of ​​hiring the Italian as their tactician due to his close relationship with agent Jorge Mendes, and also cited some of his past comments considered offensive.

In a maiden press conference yesterday at Mestalla Stadium, the former AC Milan legend chastised his accusers with former Milan director Barbara Berlusconi, the daughter of President Silvio, inclusive.

“I’ll tell you what this is about. First, the issue of women in football was referring to something said 15 years ago and there is no video or anything to corroborate it,” Gattuso said in the press conference.

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“Adriano Galliani, after 25 years of hard work, had been replaced by a 28-year-old woman with no experience in the sport, so that didn’t seem like a great decision to me,” Valencia’s boss explained.

He continued: “As for being racist, they asked me something about Boateng when I was coach of Sion and I said he shouldn’t worry about what four idiots in the crowd think. I come from a small village in Calabria, so for years and years, I got all sorts of insults in Italy.

“I worked with many black players, it really irritates me to have to sit here and explain certain things to you.

“There were even suggestions I couldn’t work because of my illness. I have ocular myasthenia and I have done it for 12 years. I heard people say I can’t work, can’t live a normal life, can’t afford to raise my stress levels,” Gattuso recounted.

Gattuso, who recently signed two years contract with the Spanish club, Valencia, flew into the country last night and was welcomed by enthusiastic and elated fans amid the controversies and accusations from certain quarters of the club supporters.

He stressed that he want to “reinforce to reinforce the sense of belonging, remember what we have been, a shirt filled with history to be respected.

“I remember a fearful Valencia CF side, with a very tough mentality who never gave up, we want that identity,” the said.

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