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14th Jul 2018

Maurizio Sarri had to address accusations of homophobia and sexism in Chelsea talks

Sarri has been no stranger to controversy

Darragh Murphy

Maurizio Sarri had to defend himself against accusations of homophobia and sexism while interviewing for the Chelsea job.

Sarri has been no stranger to controversy in his managerial career and the 59-year-old had to offer Chelsea assurances with regards to his viewpoint and future behaviour before they agreed to make him Antonio Conte’s successor, according to a report in the Telegraph.

While managing Napoli in 2016, Sarri was accused of calling Roberto Mancini “a f****t” and was given a two-match ban and a €20,000 fine for the homophobic slur aimed at the then-Inter Milan manager.

“I was just irritable,” Sarri said at the time. “I was not discriminating against anyone. If I did indeed use those words, then I apologise to the gay community.”

Earlier this year, Sarri found himself back in the headlines for the wrong reasons after telling a female journalist: “You’re a woman, you’re beautiful, for those two reasons I won’t tell you to go f*** yourself.”

Chelsea were understandably concerned about potential controversy in the future and were eager for Sarri to assure them that his previous comments did not represent his opinion on homosexuals or women.

The Italian has promised his new club that they don’t have to worry about a repeat of his controversial remarks.

Sarri, who signed a three-year contract at Stamford Bridge, said: “I am very happy to be coming to Chelsea and the Premier League. It is an exciting new period in my career.

“I look forward to starting work and meeting the players on Monday ahead of travelling to Australia, where I will be able to get to know the squad and begin our match action.

“I hope we can provide some entertaining football for our fans, and that we will be competing for trophies at the end of the season, which is what this club deserves.”