London: Chelsea will accept the punishment the FA sees fit to impose over assistant coach Marco Ianni’s provocative celebration after their late equaliser against Manchester United last Saturday, Blues manager Maurizio Sarri said on Wednesday.
Sarri — speaking on the eve of Chelsea’s Europa League home clash with Belarus outfit BATE Borisov — admitted Ianni’s behaviour in goading United manager Jose Mourinho had been wrong but added he would give him a second chance.
Ianni — who was charged with improper conduct by the FA following the 2-2 draw — apologised immediately as did Sarri to the Portuguese handler.
“First of all as I said after the match, we were wrong,” said Sarri.
“I was there when Marco spoke to Mr Mourinho.
“He said sorry immediately and it was really very important I think that he realised he was wrong.
“For the FA I don’t know, I haven’t experienced that here. I don’t know the consequences, but we were wrong so we have to accept the consequences.”
Sarri — whose side will bid to make it three wins from three games in their Europa League group campaign — said he believed people deserved a second chance.
“So I think that I want to give him another opportunity,” said Sarri. “Because I know very well the man, I know very well that he was really sorry.”
“And he realised the mistake, everybody I think can make a mistake. But you need to learn from the mistake. And so I think he will be able to do this.”
Tensions escalated in front of the Stamford Bridge tunnel after Ross Barkley’s equaliser deep into stoppage time saw Chelsea snatch a point.
Former Chelsea manager Mourinho was angered by the way Ianni celebrated in front of the United bench.
Mourinho leapt from his seat and had to be restrained by security staff as a melee ensued — although after both Sarri and Ianni apologised he said the matter was closed.