Napoli coach hit with ban over offensive remark

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Napoli's Spanish coach Rafael Benitez attends a press conference earlier in May. Photo: Carlo Hermann/AFP
13:29 CEST+02:00
Napoli coach Rafael Benitez has been handed a one-game touchline ban for making an offensive remark about the nature of Italian football.

Benitez's contract at the Serie A giants expires at the end of the season and the sanction -- which will see him sit out next Monday's home game with Cesena -- will only fuel speculation that he will not renew his deal.

A statement by Serie A officials on Tuesday said the Spaniard was issued a one-game ban and a fine of 5,000 euros for, "proclaiming in a loud voice while leaving the pitch, 'this shitty Italian football...'."

The incident occurred following Napoli's 2-2 away draw with already relegated Parma, during which Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain's insults towards Parma goalkeeper Mariano Andujar earned the Argentinian a 10,000 euros fine.

With three games remaining Napoli sit fourth in Italy's top flight, three points behind Lazio in the last possible Champions League qualifying place.

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Napoli can however qualify for the Champions League if they win the Europa League. They drew their semi-final first leg with Ukraine outfit Dnipro 1-1, with the second leg scheduled for Thursday.

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