Sampdoria Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic is furious at his two-game touchline ban and pledged to “suspend myself” if assigned the same fourth official.
The tactician was sent to the stands during Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Fiorentina, but by shouting into the face of the fourth official and then at the referee as he walked off, earned himself a two-match ban.
“I learned with great surprise and disappointment that this touchline ban will not allow me to sit on the bench for the next two games against Lazio and Inter,” Mihajlovic told ANSA news agency.
“These are two important matches for my team, but also for the emotional bonds that involve me personally with those clubs.
“In agreement with Sampdoria, I will not appeal against the ban out of respect, but I remain very upset by the reasons given in the report.
“I think I have proved with facts that I am one of the few Coaches who never commented on refereeing errors, let alone complained about them. On the contrary, I have always defended the officials, because I consider the Italians to be one of the best in the world that should be appreciated and helped. Like anyone, they can have an off day.
“I leave my place on the bench to my assistant manager Nenad Sakic, who has my complete faith. Of course, if Mr Di Fiore is assigned to one of my games again, then I will suspend myself ahead of time, leaving the bench to my assistant.
“I have always been honest and fair, taking on my share of the responsibility in every occasion. Regrettably, Mr Di Fiore did not do the same.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!