Pool owner denies racist motives.
Video footage showing a family of Nigerian origin being refused entry to a swimming pool in a town in northern Italy has gone viral on social media, sparking accusations of racism.
The video was shared on Twitter by Bl4ck.br4tz with the caption: "2022 and some swimming pools open to the public do not allow a family to enter because the father is Nigerian."
The incident - which occurred during Italy's Ferragosto holiday at a swimming pool in Asti, near Turin - has since been reported widely by the Italian media.
After arriving to pay at reception, the family was left waiting for several minutes, reports Corriere della Sera, before being refused entry.
When they sought answers, they were told they were not allowed to enter "due to directives imposed by the managers" of the establishment, Fanpage reports.The footage shows the family rejecting the vague explanation, claiming the reason was because they were Nigerian, however the receptionist responded by saying: "Lots of Italians don't enter either."
Subsequently the pool's owner Luigi Penna defended the decision, telling La Repubblica that the management is "absolutely not racist" but has had some problematic customers in previous weeks.
"We have a set of rules and they must be followed" - Penna said - "people who behave well are welcome, those who don't, aren't."
Penna said he was not there on Monday and admitted that he did "not know if it was the same family, but the cashier recognised them and she is quite good with faces. If she recognised them, she did the right thing."
Video Corriere della Sera
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Nigerian family refused entry to swimming pool in Italy, sparking racism row
Province of Asti, Italy