Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Lo Monaco in hot water over Mourinho comments

Catania and Pietro Lo Monaco have been cited by the Italian Football Federation for the managing director's threatening comments about Inter coach Jose Mourinho.

Pietro Lo Monaco & Jose MourinhoLo Monaco suggested Mourinho should keep his mouth shut after the Portuguese claimed Inter, who won 2-1 on Sunday, would still have beaten Catania if he had played in goal at the weekend.

However, the FIGC have taken a dim view to the Catania chief using a phrase which translates literally as "hit in the teeth with a stick" and have decided to open up a case against Lo Monaco which could see him landed with a hefty fine.

"The federal prosecutor has cited Pietro Lo Monaco, managing director and legal representative of Catania football club, to the national disciplinary commission, for having expressed, in statements published by the press, judgements injurious to the reputation of another and suitable to leading, directly or indirectly to acts of violence," read a statement on the FIGC's website.

Earlier in the day, Italy's Interior Minister Roberto Maroni recommended the Italian football authorities take immediate action saying: "When a club executive tells a rival coach that he should be hit in the teeth with a stick, I would expect the sporting judges or the Italian Football League or the Italian Football Federation to take action immediately".

The Sicilian club have also been cited to the commission because of their "direct responsibility for the behaviour of their own director".

However, Lo Monaco has defended his comments, insisting he never meant any harm.

"Maroni is talking about instigating violence? Let him examine his own conscience about what he said," he said before the news from the FIGC.

"Now it's down to the Council of Ministers and head of the state, but I think Italy have more pressing demands to occupy themselves.

"I'm sure that Maroni will succeed even if I don't know what there would be to make provision for a punishment."

Lo Monaco added: "My words certainly weren't a call for physical violence, I wish that to be clear.

"I will apologise for that if some people interpreted it differently. I think that over the years Catania have demonstrated a strong objection to every form of violence and my words were just the result of miscommunication.

"I promise this, I'll put a full stop to it and not respond anymore to neither Mourinho or Inter.

"If I was Mourinho I would refer to publicity sponsors or other, but I am a man of the earth, on a level much lower than his.

"I ask him only to inform himself well before speaking."

The spat between the pair started last week when Mourinho stated in a press conference that Inter would need to be "ordinary" to beat Catania and in his post-match interview said his side could have won 3-1, 4-1 or 5-1 and that if he had played in goal nothing would have changed.

The row escalated with Lo Monaco's comments to which the Inter boss retaliated, saying: "Monaco? I know Bayern Monaco ("Munich" in Italian), Monaco of Monte Carlo, the Monaco Grand Prix...I don't know of any other.

"Lo Monaco has used my name to gain publicity. But I have sponsors who pay me to do publicity. Hence, if he wants, he should also pay me."

Source: Sporting Life

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