Napoli coach denied he was being homophobic, but apologised to gay people.
The Napoli manager, Maurizio Sarri, has been handed a two-match ban and fined €20,000 for the homophobic insults he directed at the Internazionale manager Roberto Mancini.
The exchange occurred during Tuesday’s Italian Cup tie between the two sides, which the Milan side won 2-0.
After the game Mancini told Rai TVthat there was no place in the sport for people like Sarri.
“People like him do not belong in football,” said the Inter coach. “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.”
Mancini, who was sent off towards the end of the game for remonstrating with the Napoli bench, was fined €5,000 for confronting Sarri, and for being “disrespectful” to the fourth official after the match.
Sarri denied being homophobic, although he did apologise for any offence his remarks might have caused.
“I was just irritable … I was not discriminating against anyone. If I did indeed use those words, then I apologise to the gay community.”