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Italian footballer apologizes for implying match against Juventus was fixed

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Italian footballer apologizes for implying match against Juventus was fixed
Chievo's Italian defender Fabrizio Cacciatore (Front) reacts after receiving a red card during the match. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
09:12 CET+01:00
Chievo defender Fabrizio Cacciatore has apologized for making the handcuffs gesture made famous by Jose Mourinho, alleging the match was fixed, in Saturday night's 2-0 defeat against Juventus.

The Verona side were already down to ten men when Cacciatore saw red after mimicking being handcuffed twice in protest at the referee -- in front of him and then behind his back as he stood at the touchline.

The red card waved by referee Fabio Maresca was inevitable leaving Chievo down to nine men after Samuel Bastien had been sent off in the first half. The incident proved decisive with Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain going on to score to give champions Juventus a 2-0 win that took them top of the Serie A table.

"I apologize publicly for the gesture I made, it was an enormous error," wrote Cacciatore on Instagram. "I apologize to my teammates, the coach, the club, our fans and all lovers of football. It was certainly wrong, something that shouldn't be done, an example that a professional should not set.

"I'm sorry that I left my teammates in a difficult situation, as they were fighting hard from the first to the last minute.

"It was an impulsive gesture and, as is only right, I paid a heavy price for it... SORRY."

Former Inter Milan coach Mourinho did the same gesture in 2010 following the double sending-off of two players which saw the Portuguese manager fined 40,000 euros ($50,000) and given a three-match touchline ban.

Chievo coach Rolando Maran conceded the player had gone overboard but was furious with a "nit-picking" referee.

"The gesture he made was wrong, but there was no need to send him to the sidelines when taking a short corner and already down to ten men," said Maran. "A player can lose his head in a tense moment, but when down to nine men, you are left with frustration and anger."

Cacciatore risks a three-match ban and would miss games against Atalanta, Genoa and Cagliari with Chievo already struggling in 13th position having gone eight matches without a win -- including six defeats.

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