A bronze medalist at just concluded 2022 World Volleyball Championship, Paola Egonu was near of quiting Italian Volleyball National team over incessant slur remark but has now changed her mind after intervention of Italian Prime Minister.
Outgoing prime minister, Mario Draghi on Sunday offered his full support after calling her on phone. Draghi said she’s “a pride to Italian sport and will have future opportunities to win other trophies wearing the national team jersey”.
Italian volleyball player who was born to Nigerian parents said she was taking a break from the national team following comments questioning her nationality.
On Saturday a video of the 23-year-old went viral in which she burst into tears after her team took bronze in the world championships, telling her agent on the sidelines this was her last match with the national team as she was tired of being questioned about whether she was Italian.
Egonu was born in Italy but as a daughter of non-Italian parents she received her citizenship only at the age of 14 when her father obtained an Italian passport, Italian media said.
“We athletes give everything in every game and it hurts to hear that I don’t deserve to wear this jersey,” Egonu told RAI television on Saturday.