Napoli football club defends banned coach: He did not use anti-gay slurs

The team of an Italian football coach banned for an altercation with a rival coach, has said he did not use homophobic or racist language.

Roberto Mancini made the accusation against his Napoli counterpart Maurizio Sarri. The pair had a row on the sidelines during the final moments of their teams’ Coppa Italia tie.

Mancini was sent off after becoming involved in the stoppage time row with Sarri.

After disciplinary action Sarri has been banned for two matches, but it has been judged that he did not use racist or homophobic language.

S.S.C. Napoli has urged Mancini to accept Sarri’s apology.

“The decision of the disciplinary commission formally confirms the absence of any racist or homophobic connotations in the words of Coach Sarri directed at the Coach of the opposing team during the Coppa Italia match on Tuesday,” an official statement from the Vesuviani began.

“Knowing the cultural and human integrity of our Coach, Napoli never harboured any doubt about that, and believes that the regret for the words uttered, expressed repeatedly and publicly by Sarri, proves once again his personal qualities and capacity for self-criticism.

“Therefore, we categorically reject the notion that the words of Maurizio Sarri could have been intended in a discriminatory manner, and it’s hoped that the Inter Coach will accept the apologies which have repeatedly been offered, and that purely sporting events between the two clubs can return to being the focus of the media and the public.”