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Roberto Mancini Claims Napoli Manager Maurizio Sarri Used Offensive Slurs

MILAN, ITALY - MAY 31:  FC Internazionale Milano coach Roberto Mancini (L) shakes hands with Empoli FC coach Maurizio Sarri (R) before the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Empoli FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 31, 2015 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 13, 2016

Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri has received a two-game Coppa Italia ban for his homophobic comments made towards Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini during Tuesday's San Paolo clash.

Italian football writer Adam Digby confirmed the decision of the Italian football association on Thursday:

The two managers faced off on the touchline during the quarter-final match—which Inter won 2-0—and Mancini accused his counterpart of hurling various slurs at him.

Mancini made the accusations during an interview with Italian broadcaster Rai TV (via Marcus Christenson of the Guardianwarning: link contains strong language):    

The confrontation on the touchline? You have to ask Sarri about that, he is a racist. People like him does not belong in football. He used racist words. I stood up to ask about the five minutes being added on and Sarri shouted 'p--f' and 'f----t' 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 neither confirmed nor denied the allegations at the time, per Rai Sport (via Digby):

Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina came to his manager's defense.

"I don't know precisely what the coach said, but when you are annoyed you say many things," Reina said to Rai Sport (via Football Italia). "If he was wrong, he'll be the first to admit that. Obviously these are things that should remain on the pitch. Many times people say things they don't really believe."

It's no secret world football has a history with acts of racism and homophobia, particularly by supporters inside the stadium. The sport's governing bodies can't possibly eradicate what are societal issues, but in this case, they have decided Sarri deserves punishment.

Chalking up the transgression to a heat-of-the-moment mistake isn't an excuse, and standing on the touchline of a football pitch doesn't give a manager carte blanche to use offensive words or phrases.

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