The Argentinian Ricardo Caruso Lombardi, accused of having uttered a racist insult against a referee which is the subject of an investigation by the prosecution, resigned on Wednesday from his post as coach of the Uruguayan club Miramar Misiones.

The 62-year-old coach made his position available to the club’s management, who accepted his resignation at midday, local media reported.

On Monday, following his club’s defeat in the first division championship, Ricardo Caruso Lombardi verbally attacked the referee for having sent off one of his players and, in turn, received a red card. It was then that he shouted “Negro de mierda” to referee Javier Feres.

A few hours later, he apologized on the social network X, saying he was “ashamed” of his comments.

The prosecution announced on Wednesday that it had opened an investigation, the police having reported “an alleged act of incitement to hatred”. The examination of broadcast cameras and the call for possible witnesses are underway, said a spokesperson for the prosecution.

According to the Uruguayan penal code, this offense is punishable by three to eighteen months in prison.

On Tuesday, the Uruguayan Football Federation (AUF) condemned “strongly” the comments of Ricardo Caruso Lombardi. The AUF must decide on possible disciplinary measures, which the Uruguayan Association of Football Referees (Audaf) has requested “with the greatest possible severity”.

The now ex-coach, who took charge of the club last month, denied being racist.

“I said negro de mierda out of anger, because that’s the way I talk when I’m angry,” he defended himself on Sport 890 radio. “What bothers me is “The more it’s that they put racism in the middle of it, when I’ve always lived with several guys who have dark skin,” he added.

Ricardo Caruso Lombardi has coached nearly twenty clubs, including some in the Argentine first division, since the start of his career in 1994.