Empoli President Fabrizio Corsi defends Maurizio Sarri after the Napoli Coach was accused of homophobia.
Inter Coach Roberto Mancini accused the Partenopei boss of directing homophobic slurs at him during Tuesday’s Coppa Italia tie.
“I’m disappointed, because we’re talking about someone who is very dear to me,” Corsi told Corriere dello Sport, having employed Sarri from 2012 to 2015.
“Sarri made a mistake, but I think it’s now being pettily exploited in an attempt to twist it into homophobia.
“Everyone who knows how Tuscans speak knows that f****t is a term used toward a lucky opponent. We use it when playing tennis against a friend, and the ball touches the net but drops over.
“Unfortunately for Sarri, the context forbids him from using it. I’d hate if this story had a negative effect on him and his team, and was an advantage for others.”
The story is causing a storm in Italy, with Gazzetta dello Sport alleging today that Mancini himself has used homophobic language in the past.
The newspaper alleges that its journalist Alessio Da Ronch was insulted by Mancini using one of the phrases which Sarri allegedly used, in a Press conference in 2001.