Italia FA president Giuseppe Pizzi has said he wants the world to “welcome” him.
Pizzi said he would like to help the “great majority” of footballers who had committed suicide and urged them to “re-live the sport” in a bid to inspire other people.
“I don’t know why it is that the FA feels the need to say that I am a traitor, or an outsider,” he told Radio L’Equipe, a daily talk show on French radio.
“I’m a professional, I know what I’m doing.
I’m a journalist and I want to be welcome here.
I want everyone to be able to play football, I want them to live the sport and not be isolated from it.”
The FA has been criticised for not taking a more positive stance towards players who commit suicide, and is currently under pressure to act on reports of corruption at the top of the game.
It is also under pressure from the European Court of Human Rights, which has called for a boycott of matches at the end of the current campaign season.
“In Italy, in our society, we have this culture of suicide,” Pizzie said.
“So I don’t feel that I’m part of that.
It’s a shame, because I want this sport to grow. I don