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SPORTS | 23-05-2024 15:40

Argentine coach Ricardo Caruso Lombardi quits Uruguay club over slur against football ref

Football coach Ricardo Caruso Lombardi, under investigation for hurling a racial slur at a referee, quits his Uruguayan club.

Football coach Ricardo Caruso Lombardi, under investigation for hurling a racial slur at a referee, quit his Uruguayan club on Wednesday.

Caruso Lombardi, a 62-year-old Argentine, used an expletive and racial slur against Javier Feres after the referee red-carded him for losing his temper when a player was sent off during a first-division match in Montevideo on Monday.

 "Shit nigger, I won’t go," Caruso Lombardi told Feres when the latter sent him off towards the end of the encounter. 

Hours later, Caruso Lombardi apologised on X, saying he was "embarrassed" about the outburst.

The prosecutor's office said it had opened an investigation into alleged incitement to hatred, and has requested witnesses and video footage of the incident.

A criminal case has now been open after a criminal complaint. The crime carries a penalty of three to 18 months in prison.

On Tuesday, the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) "emphatically" condemned Caruso Lombardi's utterances and said it would take disciplinary steps.

The Uruguayan Association of Football Referees (Audaf) demanded a punishment of "the greatest possible severity." 

The Afro-Uruguayan group, Atabaque, has urged the justice system to take "exemplary" action.

In an interview with Radio Sport 890, Caruso Lombardi denied being racist.

"The only thing that bothers me is that they bring racism into the mix, because I live with several guys who are dark-skinned and we are always joking around and hugging."

He said his comments were made "in anger, because it's a way of speaking that I have when I get angry." 

Caruso Lombardi took over as head coach of Miramar Misiones last month. Since then he has coached six games, with four losses, one draw and one victory.

 

– TIMES/AFP

 

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