Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini makes racist allegations against Napoli couterpart
Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini has made scathing allegations against Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri as he has accused the latter of making homophobic comments on him. The former Manchester City tactician has accused Sarri of calling him "finocchio" and "frocio", which are both homophobic slurs in Italian, and called Napoli's coach a "racist".
The incident occurred during the high voltage quarter-final clash between the two Scudetto challengers in the Coppa Italia which the visiting Inter side won 2-0 to advance to the semi-finals of Italy’s premier knockout competition. Stevan Jovetic scored with a delightful lob in the 74th minute before Adem Ljajic settled the tie for the visitors with a stoppage time strike.
The primary reason for the feud is said to be a mistake from the fourth official who held up the electronic board to suggest nine additional minutes and later corrected it to five minutes. This prompted a spat between the two managers who were seen embroiled in heated exchanges even after Ljajic’s late goal which is when Sarri is believed to have made the inappropriate slurs against Mancini.
A visibly furious Mancini, who was sent off towards the end of the game for his incessant complaints towards the Napoli bench, made his feelings vocal after the game.
“The confrontation on the touchline? You have to ask Sarri about that, he is a racist. People like him do not belong in football. He used racist words. I stood up to ask about the five minutes being added on and Sarri shouted ‘poof’ and ‘faggot’ at me. I would be proud to be that if he is what’s considered a man.”
“People like him should not be in football. He is 60 years old. The fourth official heard but didn’t say anything. He came to see me in the changing room to apologise but he should really be ashamed of himself.”
Sarri responds to Mancini allegations
The Napoli manager has responded to allegations made by his Internazionale counterpart saying he may have used the slurs but suggested that he could not remember what exactly he had said during the time and called it a heat of the moment reaction.
"I can't remember, it’s possible. I was fired up and angry, so I’m not sure what I said. Adrenaline does strange things to people and can trip you up.”
However, he brushed aside Mancini’s suggestions that he was a racist and also revealed that he followed Mancini to his locker room and tendered an apology.
"Am I homophobic? That seems over the top. I was just irritable."
"It was the kind of argument that people have on the touchline or on the pitch. I apologised to him in the locker room, but I expected him to apologise to me too.”
"As far as I’m concerned, it was part of the game and at the 90th minute it’s all over. I think what happened on the pitch should stay on the pitch."