Italy’s football federation president Carlo Tavecchio has allegedly made homophobic and anti-Semitic comments, asking people to ‘keep [gays] away from me’.

Reportedly speaking to Soccer Life and published in Corriere della Sera, he was speaking about the sale of an amateur league’s headquarters to real estate tycoon Cesare Anticoli.

‘It was bought by that lousy Jew Anticoli,’ Tavechhio is head saying.

He also said: ‘I don’t have anything against gays but it’s better to keep them away from me.’

Tavecchio claimed he was being targeted for blackmail and that he doesn’t ‘recall’ making the comments, suggesting they ‘might have been manipulated’.

The 72-year-old politician and football magnate has a long history of offensive comments, making reference to ‘bananas’ when talking about foreign players in Italy in November last year. . Following this, he was banned for six months from holding any FIFA position.

Renzo Ulivieri, the president of the Italian coaches’ association, said: ‘Certain words shouldn’t be pronounced by anyone and certainly not by the president of the Italian football federation.’