GENOA, Italy—Sampdoria President Massimo Ferrero apologized Sunday after saying he told Massimo Moratti to “kick out that Filipino” in reference to Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir, in the latest racism gaffe to hit Italian football.
“I did not mean to disrespect Mr. Thohir, the Inter directors or the people of the Philippines, who I have always had wonderful relationships with,” Ferrero said in a statement on the club’s website. “I was trying to praise Massimo Moratti and all he has given to Inter and Italian football for 20 years.”
During an interview on a television show earlier in the day, Ferrero discussed Moratti’s decision to resign as honorary president of Inter Milan.
“It’s not right that Moratti was treated this way, I am very upset for him,” Ferrero said. “I had told him: kick out that Filipino.”
Thohir replaced Moratti as Inter president last year, after buying a majority stake in the club.
Moratti, who was Inter president for 18 years, was then handed the honorary title, but stepped down on Thursday.
Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio is serving a six-month UEFA ban following a racist comment during his election campaign.