Napoli coach skips press conference for fear of potential punishment

Walter Mazzarri chose to skip the subsequent press conference after the reigning Serie A champions Napoli's heavy defeat to Internazionale. Instead, it was Sporting Director Mauro Meluso who spoke to the press.

Napoli coach skips press conference for fear of potential punishment
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"Mazzarri preferred not to be here because we want him on the bench, and therefore we wanted to avoid him making certain comments that could get him into trouble," Meluso explained. 

"We are very dissatisfied and feel that we and our fans do not deserve this treatment. It feels like the referee and VAR had a bad day, which can happen to anyone."

Napoli fell behind just before half-time due to a goal from Hakan Çalhanoglu. "The first goal took the wind out of our sails. There was a foul in the buildup on Lobotka that was quite obvious. It warranted an immediate intervention from the referee, even without the help of VAR, because it was so clear."

"The second incident that we saw unfairly penalized was the unawarded penalty for Osimhen," Meluso continued. "I was also a player, if they clamp down on your Achilles tendon, you lose your balance and fall. It's clearly a foul that should have been penalized with a penalty."

"We are not believers in conspiracy theories, we don't feel there's any ulterior motive here other than a bad day. It's no alibi, but conceding that goal in that way really affected us for the rest of the game. Frankly, I was astonished that these decisions weren't overturned, as we have seen many penalties given in this way."

Napoli finds itself in fifth place and now trails Inter by eleven points. On Friday, they face an away game at Juventus. The following Tuesday, the Italians hope to secure Champions League football after the winter break. For this, they must not lose by a large margin to Braga.