Di Francesco denies racially abusing Costa

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The Sassuolo forward has denied reports he made offensive comments toward the Brazilian after a nasty spitting incident on Sunday

Federico Di Francesco has denied provoking Douglas Costa into spitting at him and rejected suggestions he racially abused the Juventus star.

Costa was dismissed at the end of Sassuolo's Serie A loss to Juventus, in which Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice, after clashing with Di Francesco in shocking fashion.

The Brazil international elbowed and headbutted his opponent before spitting in the face of Di Francesco, and was sent off following a VAR review.

Costa apologised for the incident on social media but did not include any mention of Di Francesco, while Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri indicated his player was provoked.

However, Di Francesco issued a strong rebuttal to reports he racially abused Costa during Sunday's match.

"I am profoundly upset by the allegations and the inventions which have appeared on various national media outlets," Di Francesco said. "All of this is offensive and denigratory.

"I will not allow racist behaviour and/or phrases that do not pertain to to my values and ethics, and that are fruits of the imagination of others, be attributed to me. I ask for and demand respect."


Gostaria de pedir desculpas a todos os torcedores da Juventus por essa minha reação equivocada no jogo de hoje. Peço também desculpas aos meus companheiros de time, que estão sempre comigo nos momentos bons e ruins. Errei feio, tenho consciência e venho me desculpar com todos por isso. Deixo claro que essa atitude isolada não condiz com o que sempre mostrei em minha carreira. Douglas Costa Vorrei scusarmi con tutti i fan della Juventus per questa reazione fuorviante nel gioco di oggi. Mi scuso anche con i miei compagni di squadra, che sono sempre con me nei momenti belli e cattivi. Ero brutto, ne sono consapevole e mi scuso con tutti per questo. Metto in chiaro che questo atteggiamento isolato non corrisponde a quello che ho sempre dimostrato nella mia carriera. Douglas Costa @juventus

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Costa is set to learn his punishment for the incident with the 21-year-old, who is the son of Roma head coach Eusebio Di Francesco, on Tuesday.