Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi is in the eye of the storm with accusation that he racially abused Juventus’ Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic in Sunday’s 1-0 win for the Turin giants.
Paulo Dybala provided a late strike that secured a 1-0 win for Juve and an 11th consecutive league victory for Italian champions, who moved to within two points of Serie A leaders Napoli.
The bad-tempered affair in Turin got off to the worst possible start when Mandzukic crumbled to the ground in pain after a De Rossi stamp.
Midfielder De Rossi and forward Mandzukic were involved in a heated exchange during the Serie A clash
Italian newspaper Tuttosport claimed television cameras had caught De Rossi telling the Croatian: ‘Silent, s**tty gypsy.’
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti did not deny De Rossi’s comments.
He claimed Mandzukic had insulted his players throughout the game and said De Rossi’s only mistake was not to cover his mouth with his hand, a technique used by many players and coaches to conceal what they are saying.
‘He (De Rossi) didn’t put his hand up to his mouth, but I will tell him to do that next time,’ Spalletti said, after seeing Roma slip to 12 points off the pace.
‘In difficult moments like that, certain manners can go amiss. But Mandzukic was taking the p**s out of all the (Roma) players during the game.’
On his part, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri tried to play down the incident.