Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini has accused a rival manager of using homophobic language during a match.
Mancini has alleged that Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri called him a “poof” and a “faggot” during an altercation on the touchline on Tuesday evening when the two sides met in the Coppa Italia tie.
The former Manchester city boss said: “In England, someone like him wouldn’t even be allowed on the touchline,
“I went to find Sarri in the locker room and he apologised, but I want him to be ashamed of what he said,”
After the match, Sarri said: “Am I homophobic? That seems over the top. I was just irritable.”
Sarri claimed that he couldn’t remember what words he had used and told Rai Sport: “These are things that should end on the field,” adding that he had “heard worse on the football pitch.”
Sarri continued: “I apologised 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.”
Without elaborating further Mancini also accused Sarri of being a “racist”. Mancini was sent to the stands during the match.
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has launched an investigation into Mancini’s allegation.
Inter won the match 2-0.
Gay rights activists have called for Sarri to be punished if it is found out Mancini’s allegations are accurate. Fabrizio Marrazzo from Italian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual rights group Gay Center told BBC World Service Sport Sarri “should lose his job”.
He added: “We are very angry about this.”