Maurizio Sarri tried to laugh off the accusations of homophobia from Roberto Mancini in a Press conference. “He insulted me too.”
The two Coaches clashed on the touchline during the final minutes of Inter’s 2-0 Coppa Italia victory away to Napoli.
Mancini went on Rai Sport and accused Sarri of shouting homophobic slurs at him. He also said Sarri was “racist,” though did not mention any racist terms, so could well have meant homophobic.
“These things happen on the pitch. I was taught when the referee blows the final whistle you shake hands and it all ends there,” said the Napoli Coach in a Press conference.
“Under stress things can happen, but I apologised in the locker room and it should’ve ended there, like it so often does in this game.
“Now people are calling me homophobic and other ugly things. It was the first word that popped into my mind. Next time I’ll call him a Democristiano (defunct Italian political party, ndr). I have gay friends, so it’s not as if I’m homophobic…
“Do I expect a ban? Why should I be banned? It’s an insult, like many others. Mancini called me an old git, so is he racist towards old people?
“I apologised to him, but the truth is I can’t even remember the term I used.”
Sarri is from Tuscany and those from that region are famous for swearing a lot in their everyday speech. Until now this rough and ready approach to interviews has been considered charming, but this incident could have huge repercussions.
As for the match itself, Sarri explained the lack of intensity.
“It was my fault, I was trying to balance out the minutes played and get them at the end, but in these cases a little incident can wreck the whole plan.
“We did care about this game and the Dries Mertens red card made me really angry. You can give a penalty or not, but a second yellow for diving is excessive.
“The team remained balanced and the game was under control until the goal.”
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