Mourinho continues war of words with Catania

September 16, 2008

MILAN, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho was branded a "bigmouth" by the chief executive of rival Serie A side Catania on Tuesday after an extraordinary exchange of insults between the pair.

Mourinho, known for his inflammatory comments while coach of Chelsea, began the spat on Saturday when he said his side had deserved to beat Catania 5-1, despite only winning the league match 2-1 thanks to two own goals.

Catania chief executive Pietro Lo Monaco hit back by saying Mourinho had insulted the whole of the Sicilian city, adding that he risked "having his teeth smashed".

Lo Monaco quickly apologised for the comment, saying it was a Sicilian turn of phrase and he did not advocate violence.

Colourful Mourinho joked in reply that he had heard of the Monaco Grand Prix but not the Catania official, whom he accused of using his name for free publicity.

On Tuesday, Lo Monaco took the rare step of issuing a statement on Catania's website (www.calciocatania.it) denouncing the Portuguese coach.

"Inter, and I say this with true conviction, have the strongest setup in Europe. It's a shame they have been shown to have the biggest bigmouth coach of the continent," the lengthy statement said.

Mourinho had been relatively subdued in his public comments since arriving at Inter in June as he got to know the Italian press.

Recently though, he has come back out of his shell and has also been involved in verbal exchanges with Juve coach Claudio Ranieri, his predecessor at Chelsea.

• Internazionale midfielder Sulley Muntari has been handed a three-match ban for hitting an opponent during Saturday´s 2-1 win against Catania.

The former Udinese and Portsmouth player was sent-off for striking Catania´s Giacomo Tedesco in the face.

A statement from the Italian Football League said: "In the 45th minute, while the ball was not in play, Muntari was guilty of hitting a rival in the face causing him a minor injury to the mouth."

Muntari will miss this weekend´s clash at Torino as well as the home game against Lecce and the derby match against AC Milan on September 28.