Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri aimed slurs at me, Inter's Roberto Mancini says
Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini has labelled Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri a "racist'' and claims he was subjected to anti-gay abuse as the pair clashed on the sidelines towards the end of Tuesday night's Coppa Italia quarterfinal at San Paolo.
Stevan Jovetic and Adem Ljajic scored for the visitors in the second half of Inter's 2-0 win as Napoli lost for only the second time since August.
Napoli's misery was compounded by the dismissal of Dries Mertens for a second yellow card late on, and tempers boiled over between the two benches in stoppage time, with heated words exchanged before Mancini was eventually sent to the stands.
The Italian -- who managed Manchester City from December 2009 until May 2013 -- claimed in a postmatch television interview with host broadcaster Rai Sport 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 what's considered 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.
"He [Sarri] tried to find me after the match and asked for forgiveness, but he should be embarrassed. In England, someone like him wouldn't even be allowed on a training pitch."
In a separate interview, Sarri responded to the criticism and claimed no offence had been intended.
"It was the kind of argument that people have on the touchline or on the pitch.
"I apologised to him in the locker room, but I expected him to apologise to me too. I think what happened on the pitch should stay on the pitch," the Napoli manager said.
"I can't remember [his exact words], it's possible [that he used that language]. I was fired up and angry, so I'm not sure what I said.
"Am I homophobic? That seems over the top. I was just irritable. I said something out of rage at the Dries Mertens red card, and I have nothing against Mancini.
"We are men of sport, these things happen, and it only lasted 10 seconds."
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He also told Rai Sport: "What I said wasn't at all directed towards Mancini, and once the game ended then he should have dropped it there.
"I even reached out to him at the end of the game to apologise, and he should have accepted it. Every man should be prepared to forgive.
Sarri, 57, said he hoped the two coaches could put the matter behind them.
"I think the whole thing is a being exaggerated. They were words of anger, not homophobic comments," he added. "I yelled out in frustration and without the intent of offending. My actions were neither sexist nor racist, simply the product of anger. But I accept that another could think differently.
"Beyond apologising, there's not much more I can do. I will try to call him [Mancini] tomorrow.
"It is true that certain words should not be used, but then again I've heard much worse. I have no stance on the issue of homosexuality. It was just a word I blurted out in the heat of the moment."