Spalletti: ‘Acerbi row blown out of proportion’


Italian national football team head coach Luciano Spalletti looks on during a training session at Chase Stadium on March 20, 2024 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Italy coach Luciano Spalletti tried to take the temperature down on the racism accusations between Juan Jesus and Francesco Acerbi. ‘It is being blown out of proportion.’

The incident occurred during Sunday’s 1-1 Serie A draw between Inter and Napoli at San Siro, when Juan Jesus told the referee that Acerbi had used a racist term.

Acerbi then had a brief discussion with the Brazilian and the official, but when the Inter man was sent home from international duty, he denied saying anything racist.

Ahead of the friendly games against Venezuela and Ecuador, Spalletti was asked about the situation.

“I think more is being talked about it than what actually happened,” replied Spalletti.

“We need to tread carefully here. I know both of them, they are two good lads. It is perhaps being blown out of proportion considering all the publicity it is getting.

“There is an investigation, the prosecutor will shed more light on the situation.”

Acerbi faces a potential 10-match Serie A ban if it is confirmed that he made racist comments.

The FIGC prosecutor is investigating, which involves speaking to both the players and receiving the audio from the referee’s microphone of their conversation.

Juan Jesus told DAZN straight after the match that Acerbi had “apologised” for going over the line with his comments.

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