Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is back in the spotlight after he promised a "bus full of whores" to the players of his Monza soccer team, Politico reported.
At a Christmas party at Monza on Wednesday, Berlusconi announced an extra incentive for the team if they beat top clubs Milan and Juventus.
“I told the guys … now you will play Milan, Juventus. If you win against one of these top teams, I’ll bring a bus of whores into the locker room,” Berlusconi said.
The video, in which Berlusconi cheered the assembled club staff, went viral on social media and sparked a strong reaction from opposition politician Laura Boldrini, who denounced Berlusconi's remarks as vulgar sexism and shameful.
Responding to the criticism, Berlusconi wrote on Twitter that he could not imagine that a simple joke in the locker room could elicit such malicious and unrealistic comments.
“I honestly didn’t think, and no one could imagine, that a simple witty and clearly paradoxical ‘locker room’ joke I addressed to the football players of my Monza could provoke comments as malicious as banal and unrealistic,” Berlusconi wrote, as translated by Instagram. “I feel with these critics. Perhaps it is just their absolute lack of humor that makes them so sad and also so gratuitously evil in attacking those they consider enemies. But it’s Christmas time. So happy birthday to them too.”