Inter coach Jose Mourinho has reacted angrily to criticism that he says has rained on the club in the last few days that suggest his side are receiving favourable refereeing decisions.
To the frustration of Roma coach Luciano Spalletti, Inter were awarded a controversial penalty after Mario Balotelli was adjudged to have been fouled in Sunday night's Serie A clash at the San Siro which helped the Nerazzurri clinch a point in a 3-3 draw.
Juventus boss Claudio Ranieri, who was a guest on a Sunday night highlights show, said he sympathised with Spalletti, prompting Mourinho to today retort: "I don't like the intellectual prostitution, I like intellectual honesty. It seems to me that in the last few days there has been great intellectual manipulation, a great job done to change public opinion.
"This manipulation has been such a success that in the last two days they haven't spoken about anything else. There has been no talk of Roma that have great players but will end the season empty handed. Nor has there been any talk of AC Milan, who are 12 points behind us and will end the season with zero titles.
"Nor has there been any talk of Juve, who have collected many points thanks to refereeing mistakes.
"We have only won one game thanks to a refereeing mistake and that was against Siena."
Mourinho, whose side take on Sampdoria in the Coppa Italia semi-final on Wednesday, added: "If Ranieri is on Spalletti's side, I am on the side of (Catania coach) Walter Zenga, (Atalanta coach Luigi) Del Neri and (Fiorentina coach Cesare) Prandelli who have all suffered refereeing wrongs against Juventus and Roma, and with (Udinese coach Pasquale) Marino and (Torino coach Walter) Novellino who have to play against them this weekend.
"Every time I switch the TV on, I always see Spalletti and Ranieri. They are always guests on the evening programmes. Spalletti talks before the match, during the interval, after the match. He talks with one person, then with another, he's friends with everyone.
"I dont know if they pay him to be interviewed. I know that I am offered money to do interviews and I turn it down because I don't like prime time shows."
The row esculated later as Juventus reacted angrily to Mourinho's claims and demanded their rivals take action against their Portuguese coach.
"Having carefully read the serious statements made by the Inter coach, Juventus express shock and disdain and ask Inter to publicly disassociate themselves from such opinions," read an official statement from Juventus.
"With his comments, the Inter coach has shown a lack of respect not only to Juventus and their 14 million fans, but to the whole of Italian football.
"Rather than feeding a dangerous culture of suspicion, the clubs representatives have a duty to show education and a sense of responsibility - before, during and after games - to sustain the development of Italian football and it's international image."
Inter replied to Juve's statement by pointing out that Mourinho acted in self-defence and exhibited honesty.
"After having read with great care the official statement from Juventus FC, we underline that Jose Mourinho replied in clear and explicit fashion to an attack on the same level," read the Inter statement.
"Our coach expressed his ideas - without insinuation or malice, with the honesty that is his style and which is very much appreciated by this club."
Speaking after his side's 2-1 first leg Coppa Italia semi-final defeat at Lazio, Ranieri reacted to Inter's defence of Mourinho - "That's the Inter style for you!"
In the press conference earlier, Mourinho also revealed that Ranieri had tried to phone him, but he decided not to answer and told the watching journalists to ask what it was he wanted.
The Juve boss replied: "It was a personal message. (Mourinho not answering the phone call) didn't upset me.
"If I meet him again, and I remember what it was I wanted to say, then I will tell him."
The war of words has now seen the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) get involved. FIGC President Giancarlo Abete confirmed that the Disciplinary Commission would evaluate all the comments made and then decide whether to take any action.
Source: Sporting Life