The two side’s clash midweek was marred by alleged homophobic slurs used by the trainer, but he now considers the subject closed after extending an olive branch
Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri is keen to move on from the furore surrounding his conduct in Tuesday’s Coppa Italia clash with Inter.
During the closing stages of Inter’s 2-0 win at Stadio San Paolo, Sarri and Inter counterpart Roberto Mancini became embroiled in a furious touchline row.
After the match, Mancini accused Sarri of using the Italian homophobic slurs “frocio and “finocchio” and described his opposite number as “shameful”.
Lega Serie A handed Sarri a two-match Coppa Italia suspension for his conduct and, on Friday, Inter published a statement on their official website offering support for Mancini’s post-match stance but accepting Sarri’s apology on their coach’s behalf.
Speaking to a news conference ahead the Serie A leaders’ trip to face Mancini’s former club Sampdoria on Sunday, Sarri said: “I am delighted that Mancini has accepted my apology and there is little to add, the story just ends.
“What is certain is that I was sorry to be depicted as racist and homophobic, which I could easily disprove should I bring up people and private facts.
“Certainly, unlike what often happens in this country, I immediately took my responsibilities and I apologised.
“Now the matter is closed and I will not ever talk about it again.”
After the match, Sarri blamed his reaction to Mancini on being irritable following a late red card for Napoli winger Dries Mertens and Adem Ljajic’s goal to seal the tie for Inter.
“I am a highly strung person in moments of stress,” he added. “I know I have to improve this aspect but with my personality it is somewhat difficult.”
Sarri does not believe this week’s controversy will have an impact on his players and he is keen for a response to the Inter defeat, with in-form champions Juventus lying two points behind Napoli in the Serie A standings.
“Tomorrow is a game of great difficulty,” he added. “I don’t think the team will be affected by the controversy but we must react to the defeat in the Coppa Italia.
“The matches are to be attacked. This is the attitude I expect from the boys.
“Samp have much more quality than their current position in the table would suggest. It’s a complicated match.”