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Mancini keen to move on as Cassano wades into Sarri row

Roberto Mancini wants to move on from his controversial clash with Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri, while Antonio Cassano has criticised the conduct of the Inter boss.

Following a heated exchange towards the end of Inter’s 2-0 Coppa Italia victory at the Stadio San Paolo on Tuesday, Mancini accused Sarri of using the Italian homophobic slurs “frocio” and “finocchio” towards him – labelling his opposite number as “shameful”.

Lega Serie A handed Sarri a two match Coppa Italia ban on Thursday and Inter later issued a statement accepting his apology on behalf of the club and Mancini.

Speaking at pre-match news conferences on Saturday, Sarri thanked Inter for their stance, while Mancini was keen to offer no further comment on the subject.

“The controversy at Napoli? A statement was made, I think that the issue is closed,” Mancini told reporters.

Earlier in the week, the former Manchester City boss insisted the attitudes that Sarri’s comments represented had no place in football.

“Those phrases didn’t offend me but they’ve offended many people who are teased and mocked every day with jibes like this,” he told Ansa.

Napoli travel to face Mancini’s former club Sampdoria this week and Sarri has an ally in opposing striker Cassano.

The 33-year-old former Italy international believes Mancini should have left his feud with Sarri on the touchline and criticised him for “moralism”.

“I do not really like the moralism,” Cassano told Sky Sport Italia. “Sarri said a word or two and was wrong but we can’t put him in prison for life.

“He said one thing while he was nervous, he was losing the game, but it must remain there.

“Sarri was wrong, I repeat it, but it had to stay in the match. At my house, if you and I say one thing it remains between you and me, man to man.

“I did not like the fact that everyone wants to crucify Sarri, who I am told is a good person.

“Mancini, being clever, lit the fuse. The only thing that we should not do is moralise and crucify Sarri.

“He made a mistake but life goes on. He did not offended homosexuals or others.”

Sat 23 Jan, 2016
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