Roberto Mancini Told He ‘lacks Respect’ After Leaving Saudi Arabia Game During Penalty Shootout

Roberto Mancini Told He ‘lacks Respect’ After Leaving Saudi Arabia Game During Penalty Shootout

Rene Otinga
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
AFC Asian Cup logo
AFC Asian Cup
Saudi Arabia logo
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
South Korea logo
South Korea
South Korea
  • Roberto Mancini attracted criticism during the Asian Cup on Tuesday
  • The former Man City boss walked off while his team was taking penalties
  • Saudi Arabia lost to South Korea via a shootout

Roberto Mancini has been accused of not respecting his own team after he appeared to walk away from the pitch in the middle of a penalty shootout.

Mancini, the current coach of the Saudi Arabia team, did not watch the rest of the action as the Middle Eastern nation was knocked out of the Asian Cup by South Korea.

Roberto Mancini was accused of lacking respect for Saudi Arabia
Roberto Mancini was criticised for leaving the dugout before his Saudi Arabia team concluded a penalty shootout. Photo: Robert Cianflone/
Source: Getty Images

The Italian cut a frustrated figure throughout the game, and his evening got worse after his side squandered a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute of stoppage time despite leading from the 46th minute through Abdullah Radif's strike.

South Korea’s Cho Gue-Sung’s goal forced the game to extra time, and then penalties at Education City Stadium as Saudi Arabia proceeded to miss two of their spot kicks.

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Mancini did not stick around to watch Hwang Hee-Chan convert the decisive penalty, as videos doing rounds on social media showed the former Italy boss walking away as other officials on the touchline watched.

On social media, sections of fans did not take Mancini’s actions lightly as they accused the 2011 Premier League champion of ‘disrespect.


"Shameful act. Roberto Mancini, a Serie A champion, a Premier League champion, a European champion, can’t respect his players and the country he represents until the end of the penalty shootout. If I’m the Saudi FA, he’s out tonight."


"He was literally walking off the job. So no need to fire him anyhow. Such a great manager yet he’s coaching Saudi Arabia, so he’s not great then is he?"


"Very erratic behavior throughout the game. Taking the Saudi captain off! Not sure i quite understand that move."


"Totally agree. They may see him as a great coach, but poor attitude there. Seems like he’s entitled, of which he isn’t. He lost."

Mancini responds to criticism

After the game, Roberto Mancini apologised for walking off early, saying he thought the contest was finished.

"I apologise [for leaving early], I thought it was finished. I didn't want to disrespect anyone," he said, per ESPN.
"I want to say thank you to all my players for what they did. They are improving a lot."

Mancini will have to wait a little longer to win a second major international tournament after his triumph with Italy in the European Championship in 2021.

Meanwhile, Germany legend Jurgen Klinsmann is seeking Asian Cup glory to add to the Concacaf Gold Cup, which he won as the manager of the US in 2013.

All AFCON quarter-finals fixtures

In the Africa Cup of Nations, the stage is set for the quarter-finals after an entertaining round in the last 16.

South Africa was the latest nation to advance to the last eight of the competition after upsetting Morocco 2-0. They will face Cape Verde.

Hosts Ivory Coast also beat Senegal via penalties to set up a clash against Mali on February 3.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and