Italian women's cup final cancelled after 'bunch of lesbians' jibe by football official

Match between Brescia and Tavagnacco called off as Prime Minister joins the debate

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The Independent Online

The Italian women's cup final has been cancelled amid accusations a senior official referred to female footballers as "a bunch of lesbians".

Brescia were due to play Tavagnacco this Saturday, however the association representing female players and coaches in Italy have taken the move to scrap the game.

It comes amid an investigation by the Italian Football Association into alleged comments by Felice Belloli, the president of the county’s amateur football association. According to the minutes of a meeting to discuss funding for the women's game, he reportedly said: "That's enough, we can't always talk about giving money to this bunch of lesbians."

Belloli has denied making the comments, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I never signed those minutes. Can you see my signature on them? No, and I can tell you why – because minutes can be taken and amended by anybody. I know how the minutes are taken at the LND (Lega Nazionale Dilettanti). All I am saying is that I did not utter that phrase."

The row led to a protest by the players of women's Serie A champions Verona during half-time of their recent match against Empoli, whilst even Italy's Prime Minister has joined the debate.

"All I can say to Italian football is that there has got to be an end to all these embarrassments that they have done in recent months," Matteo Renzi told RAI television. "It's time it all came to an end. Deplorable things have been said and done in Italian football of late."