Silvio Berlusconi was seen in a video making the vow to players from Monza
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has come under fire after a video emerged online in which he told the players of football team Monza that he would supply them with a “bus of whores” if they secured victory against a rival team.
The often controversial former leader of Italy is the owner of the Serie A team has been branded a “misogynist” since the video clip, which was shot at the team’s Christmas party this week, appeared on social media.
“I told the guys … now you will play Milan, Juventus. If you win against one of these top teams, I’ll bring a bus of whores into the locker room,” Berlusconi, 86, said in the brief footage.
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) December 13, 2022
Berlusconi served as Italian prime minister on three occasions but often found himself at the center of controversy.
In 2011, he was investigated for allegedly having sex with an underage prostitute at one of his notorious ‘bunga bunga’ parties – but was later acquitted of charges after a judge found that Berlusconi was unaware that the girl was underage. Berlusconi denied the claims against him.
Berlusconi dismissed the latest furor as being merely “locker room talk” and attacked his critics for what he described as a “lack of humor.”
“I honestly didn’t think, and no one could imagine, that a simple witty and clearly paradoxical ‘locker room’ joke I addressed to the football players of my Monza could provoke comments as malicious as banal and unrealistic,” he wrote on Instagram, after translation.
“I feel with these critics. Perhaps it is just their absolute lack of humor that makes them so sad and also so gratuitously evil in attacking those they consider enemies. But it’s Christmas time. So happy birthday to them too.”
Italian politician Daniela Sbrollini, though, claimed that Berlusconi’s comments were the latest in a string of controversial statements over his years in the public eye, and said that it is “usual misogynist language from Berlusconi. A joke in bad taste that leaves you speechless.”
Berlusconi, who previously owned Italian giants AC Milan, purchased Monza in 2018. They earned promotion to the top flight last season and in September registered one of their most famous victories when they defeated multiple-time champions Juventus.
Monza currently sit in 14th place in Serie A and will resume their domestic campaign against Fiorentina on January 4.
December 15, 2022 at 03:58PM