Inter shun press after controversial draw

MILAN - Angry Inter Milan players and officials refused to talk to the press after having two sent off in the first half of Saturday's 0-0 home draw with Sampdoria.

Inter coach Jose Mourinho, whose side host his former club Chelsea in their Champions League last 16 first leg on Wednesday, has long moaned that his team are unjustly penalised by Italian referees because of their success.

The Serie A leaders, going for a fifth straight scudetto, could have little complaint about Walter Samuel's red card on the half hour when he brought down Nicola Pozzi as the last man.

Fellow centre-back Ivan Cordoba was then given a second yellow on 39 minutes before Inter striker Samuel Eto'o was booked for diving in the box, prompting a laughing Mourinho to gesture from the bench that he was handcuffed.

Furious Inter fans in the San Siro then waved white tissues at the referee in a protest rarely seen in Italy before Samp also had Giampaolo Pazzini dismissed in the second half.

"All the decisions were absolutely right, including Pazzini," Sampdoria chief executive Beppe Marotta told Sky TV.

"I don't want to interpret Mourinho's gesture, you'd have to ask him. There is a nasty climate. I'm a bit bitter generally as a man of football."

Italy was hit by a match-fixing scandal involving referees in 2006 when Inter were ruled to be innocent while Juventus were demoted and AC Milan were among teams deducted points.