Ex-Man City boss Roberto Mancini brands Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri 'racist'

Roberto Mancini made the comments after his side's game against Napoli. Credit: Reuters

Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini has labelled Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri a "racist" and claims he was subjected to homophobic abuse as the pair clashed on the sidelines towards the end of Tuesday night's Coppa Italia quarter-final at San Paolo.

Stevan Jovetic and Adem Ljajic scored for the visitors in the second half as Napoli lost for only the second time since August.

Napoli's misery was compounded by the dismissal of Dries Mertens late on, earning his second yellow card for taking a dive in the penalty area.

Shortly after Ljajic had put the result beyond doubt with a second goal on the breakaway in stoppage time, tempers boiled over between the two benches, with an angry confrontation and heated words exchanged before Mancini was eventually sent to the stands.

The Italian - who managed English side Manchester City from December 2009 until May 2013, winning both the Premier League and FA Cup - claimed in a post-match television interview with host broadcaster Rai Sport, that rival manager Sarri had used unacceptable offensive language during their confrontation.

Adam Ljajic was on the scoresheet. Credit: Reuters
Mancini was angered by the comments. Credit: PA

Mancini continued: "He tried to find me after the match and asked for forgiveness, but he should be embarrassed. In England, someone like him wouldn't even be allowed on a training pitch."

In a separate post-match television interview, Sarri responded to the criticism, claiming no offence had been intended.

Sarri says no offence was meant to be caused. Credit: Reuters

Sarri, 57, hoped the matter could be put behind them.

"I think the whole thing is a being exaggerated, they were words of anger, not homophobic comments," he continued.

"Mertens had been sent off and I yelled out in frustration and without the intent of offending. My actions were neither sexist nor racist, simply the product of anger. But I accept that another could think differently.

"Beyond apologising, there's not much more I can do. I will try to call him [Mancini] tomorrow [Wednesday].

"It is true that certain words should not be used, but then again I've heard much worse.

"I have no stance on the issue of homosexuality. It was just a word I blurted out in the heat of the moment."