Newly-appointed FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio has reiterated his belief that foreigners are largely to blame for the demise of Italian football.
The 71-year-old courted controversy prior to taking control of the governing body in August with racist comments made in relation to the debate on lifting sanctions on non-EU players in Serie A.
Considering the debate on foreign players in Italy once more today, Tavecchio has outlined his view, a little more diplomatically.
“There are too many foreigners in the League,” Tavecchio has told Radio Rai today.
“It's one of the main problems in Italian football, and we cannot go on like this.
“We cannot do anything about the EU players, the clubs are entitled to play 11 out of 11 from the 28 countries in the European Community.
“The problem is the immigrants. It's difficult to intervene in any legal procedures, so it's best to build from the bottom.
“The amateur league intends to create 19 federal centres to act as catchment areas for 700,000 young people, which will put them at the disposal of professional clubs. The goal is to create future champions in a rational manner.
“Yesterday, I saw three games on TV, and it was a reflection [of my feelings]. Out of the 66 players on the pitch, there were only 14 Italians.
“The championship [Serie A] is the mother of all battles. We've come back from a bad experience at the World Cup, but we want to start with a season of reform, and I'm confident [in our abilities].
"We must return the federation to the force that it once was. Nobody here can do sporting activities in Italy or Europe without the FIGC.”
Tavecchio then offered his support to referees, whilst commenting on his new planned committee to be launched to improve the standard of officiating throughout the Italian game.
“The referee is the first judge on the pitch, and he must make judgment calls in fractions of seconds.
“Our [proposed] arbitral structure will detect any errors and will internally initiate procedures to correct them, but the referee is the lynchpin of the system.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!