Shorts: Claudio Ranieri is charged with being racist & Liverpool loanee Leto throws a strop at training

A couple of interesting stories from the last few days of football.

Claudio Ranieri has sparked a mini-brouhaha with China as a result of the Tinkerman’s post-match comments following the Old Lady’s defeat at Lazio last night in the Coppa Italia.

After watching his side throw away a 1-nil halftime lead, Ranieri offered his thoughts on the match saying, “I did not like the entire direction of the match. I found the official was tough with us, on the field it seemed as if he was Chinese, as it was always yellow cards with us.”

Now, if your having some trouble understanding what Claudio was trying to say you should join the club. Opinion appears divided on the interpretation, with one school suggesting that Ranieri mentioned Chinese because yellow cards are yellow, playing up to the negative stereotype of the supposed skin colour of Chinese people. The other suggestion is that Ranieri was simply trying to be funny, however if that was the case then the joke has most definitely backfired.

There is now a clamour for Ranieri to be made an example of, with some calling his comments racists and looking for the football authorities to act accordingly.

Ranieri’s post match comments (in Italian) can be seen here.


In a second story of note, Liverpool’s Sebastian Leto has found himself publicly censored by Olympiakos following an unsavoury bust-up with coach Ernesto Valverde at Monday’s training session. Leto moved to the Greek champions last summer on a one-year loan deal as he was unable to secure a work permit to play in the Premier League this season.

According to local media reports, Leto was already unhappy since the weekend after being left out of the squad to face Panathinaikos on Sunday night. Holding a grudge, Leto is then said to have refused to participat in training, forcing Valverde to send the midfielder to the dressing room after he allegedly began kicking footballs around wildly, with some hitting Valverde’s assistant and the coach himself.

Valverde issued the following statement on the club’s website: “During yesterday’s training there was an issue with Sebastian Leto, which for the umpteenth time was a disciplinary offence – forcing me to send him to the dressing room. I have informed the administration about this particular incident, and it is now up to them to decide the action needed. As I have said in the past, discipline is a fundamental concern for the calmness of the team.”

Sadly no footage of the incident is yet available.