COMPLAINTS of “discrimination” on The National’s front page depicting Roberto Mancini as William Wallace ahead of Italy’s Euro 2020 final against England have been dismissed by press regulator IPSO.

The front page from Saturday, July 10, featured the Italy manager as Mel Gibson’s version of Wallace, and read: “Save us Roberto, you’re our final hope.”

Text underneath stated: “We can’t take another 55 years of them banging on about this.”

READ MORE: Mancini rests Euro 2020 trophy on National's Braveheart front page

The front page sparked debate across the UK ahead of the historic match at Wembley and split opinion.

It went viral in Italy, leading to Mancini and his captain Giorgio Chiellini praising it at a press conference. The star footballer said: "The front page of the National made me smile for Scotland's rivalry with England.”

The National:

Following Italy’s victory over England in the final Mancini was spotted with The National on his lap, right beside the Euro 2020 winner’s trophy, on his flight home.

Complaints submitted to IPSO claimed the front page breached Clause 12 of the Editor’s Code of Practice by discriminating against English people.

The IPSO Executive dismissed the claims and told complainants: “Your concern that the article discriminated against English people in general did not relate to an individual and is not a characteristic protected by the Code. This meant that it did not engage the terms of this Clause.”

Complainants have been told they are entitled to review the rejection within the next seven days.

The National:

The National's editor Callum Baird (above) commented: “Our Roberto Mancini front page was a massive hit – with the vast majority of people, especially those in Europe and football fans, understanding exactly what our intention was with it.

“It’s entirely reasonable to make fun of rival sports teams. Nobody would expect Rangers fans to support Celtic in a cup final or vice versa.

“As likeable as many of this England team’s players are, with the likes of Marcus Rashford doing a fantastic job of taking on the Tories, we simply couldn’t have handled another 55 years of the media and commentators banging on about it.

“The mock-up of Mancini as Braveheart was some classic newspaper humour and we’re glad so many people – including the man himself and captain Giorgio Chiellini – got a laugh out of it.”