Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri probably feels lucky today. Days after calling Inter manager Roberto Mancini a “faggot” during a game, the Italian soccer federation has fined him €20,000 and given him a two-match Coppa Italia suspension. It could’ve been a lot worse.
The federation found Sarri guilty of “causing general offense” by targeting the slur at Mancini. This is important because, as Gazzetta World pointed out yesterday, the language could’ve been construed as “discriminatory behaviour that directly or indirectly causes offence to someone’s race or gender among others.”
The judge who handed down the punishment, however, stuck with the “general offense” interpretation. Here’s Gazzetta again on what was likely the federation’s reasoning:
The reasoning behind this rationale is that as Mancini is a heterosexual individual, the comments made towards him could not actually be considered as homophobic, but merely offensive.
Had he been punished under the “discriminatory behavior” standard, Sarri could’ve faced up to a four month suspension from all Napoli matches. Instead he has the fine and a suspension for two matches next season that probably won’t be all that meaningful.
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