Romania’s Embassy in Rome informed, that the „Romanian gypsy” assimilation, which was used in the article published on Thursday by daily Il Giornale when referring to coach Mircea Lucescu was not quite favourable in the context in which this collocation may fuel confusion with the public opinion.
Romania’s Embassy makes it clear that the open protest letter sent on Thursday afternoon to Il Giornale requesting the collocation in question to be corrected „first of all referred to the often tendentious approach made by this newspaper whenever they mentioned the Romanian citizens.”
Romania’s representation office in Rome also emphasizes the fact that one must not forget that the Milan newspaper informed in its Friday issue that it had received a number of protest reactions in Italian, French and English after publishing that article.
„Our reaction came in support of the Romanian citizen Mircea Lucescu, not of the football coach. It is any person’s right to react in one way or another to certain collocations. But it is the duty of a diplomatic mission to correct phrasings and approaches when it appreciates that they may create confusion that might lead to distorting the image of the Romanians irrespective of the country they are in,” also says Romania’s Embassy.
After daily Il Giornale on Thursday morning published a piece of news about the UEFA Cup being won by Shakhtar Dontetsk, the Ukrainian football team coached by Mircea Lucescu, Romania’s Embassy on Thursday afternoon sent the Italian newspaper an open letter condemning the use of the collocation „Romania gypsy” in the article and asked for the text to be corrected.
On the other hand, coach Mircea Lucescu said on Thursday evening that he was not hurt by the article in Il Giornale daily, in which they used the collocation „zingaro de la panchina” („nomad of the coach’s bench”) and by which the Italian journalist was supposed to have voiced admiration for the Romanian coach’s career with several football clubs in Italy, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine.
Daily Il Giornale on Friday published an interview with Mircea Lucescu in which he said that he was not offended but also a long ironical leading article demonstrating the fact that the collocation „zingaro de la panchina” was commonly used in the Italian press also referring to other coaches such as the Italian Walter Zenga.
In the comment under consideration the Italian journalist Michele Brambilla said that the Romanian Embassy in Rome „cut a poor figure” in the letter that proves that its staff did not know the common phrases of the Italian language and recommended it to consult a good dictionary.