Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini has labelled Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri a “racist” and claims he was subjected to homophobic abuse as the pair clashed on the sidelines towards the end of Tuesday night’s Coppa Italia quarter-final at San Paolo.
Stevan Jovetic and Adem Ljajic scored for the visitors in the second half as Napoli lost 2-0 to Inter, their second loss since August.
Napoli’s misery was compounded by the dismissal of Dries Mertens late on, earning his second yellow card for taking a dive in the penalty area.
The Italian claimed in a post-match television interview that rival manager Sarri had used unacceptable offensive language during their confrontation.
“You have to ask Sarri what happened as he is a racist,” Mancini said. “Men like him shouldn’t be in the world of football. He is 60 years old and must be ashamed.
“I got up to ask about the five minutes of injury time and he yelled ‘f****t’. I would be happy to be one if he is a man.
“The fourth official heard everything, but didn’t say a word, and I was sent off.
“This incident overshadows the rest of the match and is an embarrassment.”
In a separate post-match television interview, Sarri responded to the criticism, claiming no offence had been intended.
“It was late in the game and I was still angry about [Dries] Mertens getting sent off,” the Napoli manager said
“I have no stance on the issue of homosexuality. It was just a word I blurted out in the heat of the moment.”
Napoli are two points ahead of Juventus and four clear of Inter at the top of the table, and are next in action away at Sampdoria on Sunday.