Italian boxer suspended because of Nazi tattoos | Inquirer Sports
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Italian boxer suspended because of Nazi tattoos

/ 03:24 PM September 24, 2021
Michele Broili (left) and Hassan Nourdine during a faceoff.

Italian boxers Michele Broili (left) and Hassan Nourdine during a faceoff. PHOTO/MICHELE BROLI INSTAGRAM

An Italian boxer who entered the ring for a title fight at the weekend with visible Nazi tattoos was suspended on Thursday by the Italian Boxing Federation.

Michele Broili, 28, created an outcry as he lost an Italian super featherweight title fight on points to Hassan Nourdine in Trieste on Saturday.

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Nourdine, who is of Moroccan descent, said he felt “disgust” when he “saw the tattoos on Broili’s body praising Nazism” as well as “Roman salutes” — considered a symbol of fascism — from people in the stands.

The 34-year-old Nourdine said that Broili had been “cordial” at all times before and after the fight.

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Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport said it was “unacceptable” that the boxer was allowed to enter the ring with these tattoos which featured several “Nazi symbols” on his chest.

The federation court suspended Broili at least until November 19, the date scheduled for the end of the preliminary investigation opened by the federal prosecutor.

“The court considers that the public showing of tattoos with unequivocal Nazi symbols and evocations during an official sports competition represents serious and unjustified behavior for a licensee,” it said.

The court added that the tattoos oppose “the general principles of equality, of non-violence and non-discrimination at the base of the sports system.”

The National Office for the Fight against Racial Discrimination (UNAR), attached to the office of the Prime Minister, expressed indignation that the fight went ahead.

“We ask that light be shed on the reasons why, faced with such serious conduct, it was not decided to immediately stop the match, and why it took so long to take action against such an apology for Nazism,” declared UNAR director Triantafillos Loukarelis, in a statement.

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