Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini has accused Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri of using homophobic language towards him during a touchline row.
Warning – the below section might contain language offensive to some readers.
Former Manchester City manager Mancini claims Sarri shouted “Faggot” and “Poof” during Inter’s 2-0 quarter final win in the Copa Italia on Tuesday.
Mancini also claimed that his opposite number is racist, but declined to go into details as to why he was making that claim.
Mancini told Rai Sport: “In England, someone like him wouldn’t even be allowed on the touchline.”
Inter’s 2-0 win came thanks to goals from his former Manchester City charge Stevan Jovetic and Adem Ljajic.
Mancini was eventually sent to the stand after the altercation with Sarri, and was still livid in the post match press conference.
He said: “I went to find Sarri in the locker room and he apologised, but I want him to be ashamed of what he said.
“People like him cannot be in football. If not, it never gets better.”
Sarri, 57, disputed Mancini’s claims. He told the media that he couldn’t remember what words he had used in the exchange but added that he had heard worse on the pitch.
“These are things that should end on the field,” Sarri disputed. “I apologized to him, but I expect him to apologise, too. A fight on the pitch should end after 10 seconds. I was fired up and angry, so I’m not sure what I said. I will admit it wasn’t the right tone to take.”
“I was not discriminating against anyone. If I did indeed use those words, then I apologise to the gay community.”
Napoli sit top of the Serie A currently with Inter third. Sarri was appointed Napoli coach in June, and came under fire in October by the club’s fullback Juan Zaniga, who accused him of disrespect for consistently leaving him out of Napoli’s matchday squads.
Loaded sports writer Pearse Corcoran has covered news, sport and entertainment for several national newspapers and radio stations in Ireland. Follow him on Twitter at @PearseCorcoran