Today the Lega Serie A showed that it still lives in the stone age when it gave Napoli Coach Maurizio Sarri a slapon the wrist with its two match suspension for two future Coppa Italia matches and fined him €20,000 for making homophobic remarks at Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini earlier this week.
The Lega Serie A disciplinary panel imposed the two-game ban for
“having, in the 47th minute of the second half, aimed at the coach of the opposition team deeply derogatory remarks, an infraction which was picked up by the fourth official.”
Sarri could have been banned for four months had the panel decided that his words were discriminatory, but they instead ruled they were just of a “derogatory” nature.
And that is where the disciplinary panel punted on this suspension. If they would have wanted to send a loud and clear message that homophobic insults had no place in Italian football, Sarri would have been found guilty of using discriminatory words and suspended him for league games, not early round cup ties next season.
This kind of suspension reminds me of those Uefa suspensions where they fine a club €3,000 for racial chanting. The Lega Serie A disciplinary panel clearly did not find anything wrong with Sarri’s comments, but they feel that they have to do something. So they come up with the minimum penalty that clearly shows they don’t really condone his comments. Much like Uefa doesn’t really condone racial chanting.