An Italian boxer was suspended in recent days after displaying numerous Nazi tattoos on his body during a title fight.
Michele Broili, 28, fought and lost the super featherweight title in Trieste earlier this month against Hassan Nourdine, 34, an Italian of Moroccan descent.
Italian media was outraged by the display of tattoos that included symbols of the SS, the number 88, which represents “Heil Hitler,” and other neo-Nazi and skinhead symbols.
The Italian Boxing Federation suspended Broili pending further investigation.
The court of the federation said it “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.”
The display tattoos go against “the general principles of equality, of non-violence and non-discrimination at the base of the sports system.”
1/3 Italian-Moroccan boxer Hasan Nourdine celebrating his victory against Nazi opponent Michele Broili. Nourdine became the Italian super-featherweight champion and after the match said "It's a double victory. I took the title with more pride."#boxing #BoxingNews #SayNoToRacism pic.twitter.com/BB3bVq9m6N
— Armaan (@armaanyounis) September 26, 2021
Broili’s coach Denis Conte, himself a former head of a neo-fascist party, said the fight’s tattoos were “made in his youth” and had been known to authorities for some time.
“I don’t know if Michele still identifies with those concepts… We play sports, not politics.”
A video available on YouTube from 2018 showed Broili sporting the tattoos during a match.
Nourdine, meanwhile, said Broili was respectful and cordial throughout their interactions.
However, he said that he was shocked and disgusted when he saw the symbols on the boxer’s body.
According to Vice, he added: “It was a double win. Whoever wins out against these ideologies should be proud. You’re winning two battles at once.”