Inter Coach Rafa Benitez has claimed that Samuel Eto’o was provoked by Chievo’s Bostjan Cesar that saw the Cameroon international headbutt his opponent in the chest. Eto’o could now face a lengthy ban an account of video evidence to compound the ongoing crisis at the Nerazzurri.
“He was provoked. You can see that in the buildup to the incident he was punched, he reacted and just lost control”, said the Spaniard who is now fighting to save his team’s season. The incident occurred in the first half of the match and was reminiscent of Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt on Marco Materazzi from the 2006 World Cup Final.
However, match officials failed to spot the forward’s reaction and he managed to escape without a booking. “There were four referees on the pitch and if they didn’t think to do anything, its because there was nothing to do”, said Benitez in defence on his player. The Disciplinary Committe may not take the Coach’s view though and Eto’o could be banned for up to three games, a result that will leave Benitez even shorter on personnel considering the current injury crisis.
The victim Bostjan Cesar was none too impressed by Eto’os actions and said the Cameroonian hasn’t apologised to him. “Eto’o is a great player but I think that this sort of behaviour just should not occur. He just headbutted me and then didn’t even apologise”, complained the Slovenian defender.
Chievo’s 2-1 victory saw them ascend to ninth in the standings while Inter slumped to sixth nine points off leaders Milan.