Sarri banned 2 games for insults

ROME • Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri has been banned for two Italian Cup games and fined €20,000 (S$30,929)for using "highly offensive" language against Inter Milan's Roberto Mancini during their teams' quarter-final on Tuesday.

But since Napoli were knocked out by Inter after losing 0-2, the ban will not become effective until next season.

The coaches became embroiled in a row towards the end of the tie.

After the game, Mancini, who was sent off and fined €5,000 for his "intimidating" role in the confrontation, accused Sarri of making homophobic insults.

But the ruling by a sporting judge refers to "highly offensive" comments and does not mention homophobia, for which the punishment could have been greater.

The clash appeared to occur after Mancini questioned the fourth official, who mistakenly indicated nine minutes of added time before changing his mind and indicating five instead.

Although Sarri's players have rallied behind him, rival teams will be all too ready to pounce.

Sampdoria's flamboyant president Massimo Ferrero, for one, has already fanned the flames, hitting out at the leniency of Sarri's sanction in comparison to his own punishment for making disparaging remarks aimed at Inter Milan chief Erick Thohir.

In 2014, Thohir, who is from Indonesia, was labelled a "slant-eyed baby doll" and a "Filipino" by Ferrero, a film producer who never misses a chance to snatch his share of the spotlight.

Ferrero said: "It's like my old grandfather used to say - two weights, two measures. I made a geographical mistake and I got a heavy sentence. He (Sarri) said a lot more and got two games. What is happening?"

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2016, with the headline 'Sarri banned 2 games for insults'. Print Edition | Subscribe