Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo has branded leaked audio of him urging broadcasters not to pick up racist chanting “a clumsy attempt to embarrass me”.

La Repubblica yesterday published a transcript of a leaked audio file, which heard De Siervo advising TV companies to turn off microphones in the event of racial abuse during Serie A matches, so as to preserve the “product”.

Speaking to Radio Capital, however, he called the newspaper “absolute filth” for trying to smear him.

“This is absolute filth, a clumsy attempt to embarrass me, not as an individual, but as first CEO of the League.

“The attempt to destabilise the auction [of TV rights], which will completely change the balance of pay TV in Italy over the next few years, is clear.

“The day after the commissioner of the League came in, the audio file released by La Repubblica had been kept in a drawer for two months.

“Doesn’t it seem strange to you? Nobody talks about conspiracies, but there is a design, a group of people on the fringes of our world who are trying to change the balance.”

It is thought that the next domestic TV rights package for 2021-2024 will be split more evenly amongst the 20 sides in Serie A, with the biggest teams losing more money than in previous deals.

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Football Italia staff