The Italy captain has hit out at the president of the amateur leagues after his comments and insists the women's game is in dire need of investment
The captain of Italy's women's team, Patrizia Panico, has called the the president of the nation's amateur leagues "disgusting and sexist" after calling female footballers a "bunch of l£sb!ans".
The Lega Nazionale Dilettanti governs amateur and women's football and there have been calls for president Felice Belloli to resign after m inutes from a meeting in March show him telling the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) that they should not increase funding to "this bunch of l£sb!ans", although he denies making the statement.
Belloli's alleged comments resulted in the women's Coppa Italia final being cancelled after a meeting between finalists Brescia and Tavagnacco, and Panico feels the president's comments were despicable.
"That was a disgusting and sexist comment," she told Goal.
"What hurts more is that the president has shown that he doesn't know anything about women's football. We receive hardly any money from the league and sadly we don't have our own structure inside the FIGC, but we're still ruled by the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti - a male-focused organisation.
"That's a huge obstacle for our growth. For example, at the moment it's impossible for women's football to get real sponsorship from companies that may be attracted to us as female football players.
"The league is only focused on the thousands of male amateur players and we need our own organisation.
"Women's football in Italy is developing too slowly. Big Serie A teams will be soon obliged to create women's teams. Some of them already have a team of 20 girls in their youth setups, so we're on a good track, but it's still too slow.
"In countries where the women's game is fully independent, like in Sweden, Denmark, Norway,
Germany or even France, there is investment due to total respect of the women's game.
"They decided to seriously invest in women's football as they recognise that women and men have the same dignity as individuals and athletes."