Sunday March 10 2019
Gasperini-Samp row over 'slap'

Atalanta Coach Gian Piero Gasperini insists he did not ‘slap’ a member of Sampdoria staff after his touchline dismissal, but the Blucerchiati want “justice.”

There were reports of the tactician striking Sampdoria secretary general Massimo Ienca as he stormed off down the tunnel following his sending off for dissent in the 2-1 victory at Marassi.

"I know Ienca, I've known him for years from our time at Genoa and I know his family,” a relaxed looking Gasperini told Sky Sport Italia.

“He was somewhere he shouldn't have been, he obstructed the exit, so I slightly nudged him aside and then he made a big song and dance about it. He does that sometimes."

Sampdoria director Antonio Romei also spoke to Sky Sport Italia and gave their version of events.

“There was no song and dance. At the end of a game, you shake your opponents’ hand, you don’t slap them. This is not sport, we have to set the example.

“There were witnesses, they have spoken to the Lega Serie A representatives and justice will take its course. This is not sport, it is behaviour to be censured.”

It was a very important match in the race for European qualification and Atalanta emerged with a precious 2-1 victory.

“There is strong competition for Europe and nobody is letting go, so it remains very tight,” continued Gasperini.

“Winning here was an important step, but Samp are certainly not ruled out by this result. We have every right to be happy, but the referees need to be careful, because with the situation as it is, every decision can make a huge difference to the table.”

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