Coach Lippi says racism a social problem

ROME - Italy coach Marcello Lippi insisted yesterday that racism was not a problem in Italian football but a social problem.

ROME - Italy coach Marcello Lippi insisted yesterday that racism was not a problem in Italian football but a social problem.

The 61-year-old's comments come after Juventus were last week fined ß20000 (R221000) for racist chants their fans directed at Inter Milan's Ghanaian-born striker Mario Balotelli.

Questioned by students at Vicenza in northeastern Italy, Lippi, who led Italy to the 2006 World Cup title, said: "In Italy there is no racism in football.

"Racism is a problem which isn't part of our make-up. It's part of civil society. Unfortunately you have to talk about it when 10 or 20 idiots want to make themselves heard in a stadium." - Sapa-AFP

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