Inter have accepted an apology from Maurizio Sarri in a bid to bring an end to the fallout from a heated touchline row between the Napoli coach and Roberto Mancini.
During the closing minutes of Tuesday’s Coppa Italia quarter-final meeting, which Inter won 2-0, Inter boss Mancini was involved in a furious exchange with Sarri.
Speaking after Stevan Jovetic and Adem Ljajic scored second-half goals in his team’s victory, Mancini accused Sarri of using the Italian homophobic slurs “frocio” and “finocchio” towards him – labelling his opposite number as “shameful”.
Sarri responded it was “possible” he used such language during the game but apologised on the grounds that he was simply “irritable” and meant no offence.
On Thursday, Lega Serie A handed Sarri a two-game Coppa Italia suspension and a €20,000 fine for his behaviour, while Mancini was fined €5,000 for “leaving the technical area and taking an intimidating attitude toward the coach of the opposing team, who had insulted him” and being “disrespectful” to the fourth official.
In a statement on their website, Inter offered staunch support for Mancini’s post-match comments but said it wished to “draw a line” under the controversy.
The statement read: “Following the events that occurred during the recent TIM Cup match against SSC Napoli on Tuesday, January 19, FC Internazionale reiterates its full support to the coach Roberto Mancini and the ethical position that he assumed in the comments after the match .
“Since the founding of Inter in 1908 there is a belief that all players, regardless of nationality, language, religion, personal and social conditions and guidelines, are welcome at the club. For this reason the definition of “Fratelli del Mondo” [Brothers of the World] still remains a core value for the club.
“But now the time has come to draw a line that can put an end to the many threads born during the last minutes of the match. Roberto Mancini and the club therefore wish to accept the apologies presented by Maurizio Sarri and from Napoli and hope that the media attention and the public can now return to Serie A and the Coppa Italia, [which are] especially exciting for the fans of both clubs and all contenders for national titles.”