Former Italy international Stefano Eranio has risked further criticism after attempting to clarify the apparently racist comments that got him sacked from a Swiss TV station.
Eranio was co-commentator on Roma’s thrilling 4-4 draw with Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday when he made a comment about the defending of Antonio Rudiger for Leverkusen’s dramatic late equaliser.
The former AC Milan and Italy midfielder said: “Black players, when they’re in a defensive line, often make certain errors because they’re not concentrating.”
It was a remark which led to RSI dismissing him as a pundit.
Eranio has now criticised the coverage of the incident and moved to justify his comment, but he insists he “didn’t offend anyone”.
“It’s disappointing that people have created all this controversy,” he told Tuttomercatoweb. “I didn’t offend anyone and I don’t want people to make out as if I’m racist. Anyone who knows me is well aware that I am not.
“It’s irritating to be thrown to the wolves like this. The truth is I gave an incorrect opinion, in the sense that if I’d had to time to explain I would’ve said that I meant black players have never had a school of football in tactical terms similar to ours.
“Rudiger read the situation badly because black players are not accustomed to paying attention to certain details. If they were as detail-oriented as us, then they’d dominate the sport, because they have it all when it comes to strength and technique.
“It was a misunderstanding, I don’t want to be made to appear racist. If they didn’t like my comment, they could’ve just told me. Why create all this controversy?”