Wednesday 22 May 2019

Burnley called me a 's**t Italian' in touchline row, claims Sarri

Maurizio Sarri. Photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
Maurizio Sarri. Photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

Matt Law

Maurizio Sarri believes he was the victim of discrimination by members of the Burnley backroom staff, who have been accused of branding the Chelsea head coach a "s**t Italian" in Monday's 2-2 draw.

The Football Association and Burnley will now wait to find out what has been included in referee Kevin Friend's report before deciding whether to investigate the claims of Sarri and his staff.

Chelsea officials spoke to Friend after the game and the official apparently indicated the allegation would be included in his report.

Sarri was so incensed by the comments and his dismissal from the touchline in stoppage time that he did not conduct his post-match media duties, instead handing over to his assistant, Gianfranco Zola.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche is not believed to have been involved in the confrontations, but Sarri and his staff repeatedly clashed with Ian Woan, Dyche's assistant, and Billy Mercer, the goalkeeping coach.

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Both clubs are likely to be charged with failing to control their players and staff as tempers boiled over.

It now remains to be seen whether members of the Burnley backroom staff are investigated under FA Rule E3 (1) for "indecent words or behaviour" and E3 (2) where an aggravated breach "includes a reference to ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, religion or belief, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation or disability".

The standard punishment for an offence that falls under both is an immediate five-game suspension and a £20,000 fine.

Sarri was angered by what he believed were time-wasting tactics by Burnley as early as the 32nd minute, when goalkeeper Tom Heaton was booked, and stood directly in front of Woan after arguing with the former Nottingham Forest winger.

Zola explained why Sarri was so angry by saying: "Maurizio's very frustrated. He's been sent off and I think he's been offended as well."

Meanwhile, Chelsea will reaffirm their commitment to Callum Hudson-Odoi by making the teenager another new contract offer while he recovers from a ruptured Achilles that has ended his season.

Hudson-Odoi was due to undergo surgery last night. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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