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Italy's Mourinho hysteria reaching epic proportions

The hysteria over Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho in Italy is reaching ridiculous proportions.

Before Inter's victory at Reggina yesterday, Mourinho went to chat with a boy in a wheelchair on the sidelines and gave him a silver object.

The mayor of Reggio Calabria and sections of the crowd assumed it was a coin and found it an offensive and condescending gesture. However, they were left red-faced.

"The mayor accused me of giving a coin to a disabled boy. In reality I gave that child a crucifix that I have held in my pocket for three or four years now," explained Mourinho.

"My wife got it for me at Fatima. The mayor insulted me. Evidently I'm unlucky, as even when I make an affectionate gesture I still get criticised."

The mayor, Giuseppe Scopelliti, acknowledged his error. "It was simply a misunderstanding. I even apologised when the kindness of his gesture was confirmed to me, which in the eyes of many of the fans in the crowd appeared to be at first offensive."

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