Napoli coach facing four-month ban for homophobic slur

Although Maurizio Sarri escaped punishment for similar comments made while with Empoli in 2014, he may not be so lucky this time

Sarri Napoli

Following alleged homophobic insults directed at Inter coach Roberto Mancini in his side’s 2-0 loss in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals, Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri could be facing a possible four-month ban for his actions.

The Nerazzurri tactician was incensed by inappropriate comments made by his counterpart as the match drew to a close, and accused the Partenopei coach of being a racist after allegedly being called a ‘faggot’.

Mancini was then bizarrely sent off after bickering with the Napoli bench and the fourth official, after the latter had mistakenly signaled for nine minutes of stoppage time as opposed to five minutes.

SSC Napoli v FC Internazionale Milano - TIM Cup

If the accusations are found to be true, then Sarri could be facing a four-month touchline ban, with the FIGC attempting to clamp down on similar issues that have plagued Italian football for years.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Sarri has been embroiled in a similar controversy. While still in charge of Empoli in 2014, the 57-year-old was irate at the sending off of defender Mario Rui in a 1-0 victory over Varese.

“Football has become a sport for f**s,” he said after the game. “We suffered twice as many fouls, but we had more yellow cards.

“It’s a contact sport in Italy, but the whistle is blown a lot more than in England because the game is being interpreted by homosexuals.”

Sarri was consequently fined 5,000 for rude gestures made to the Varese fans, but escaped punishment for his comments. He may not be as lucky this time.

Adapted from an article in La Gazzetta dello Sport by Matteo Brega and Gianluca Monti

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