Ref­er­ees hit back over crit­i­cisms

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MI­LAN: The head of the Ital­ian ref­er­ees’ as­so­ci­a­tion hit back on Mon­day af­ter a spate of con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sions in Serie A and the Ital­ian Cup led to bit­ter crit­i­cism of match of­fi­cials.

“Ev­ery­body has thought of their own in­ter­ests and not about the good of the game, the (prob­lems) that you can cause by say­ing the wrong things,” Mar­cello Nic­chi, the head of the Ital­ian Ref­er­ee­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (AIA), told state broad­caster RAI in an in­ter­view.

Re­cent con­tro­ver­sies have in­cluded the award of a 97th minute penalty which gave lead­ers Ju­ven­tus a 2-1 win over AC Mi­lan 10 days ago, the award of two penal­ties to Napoli in a Serie A match against Cro­tone and the award of two penal­ties to Ju­ven­tus in a cup match against Napoli.

Ref­eree per­for­mances in Serie A are pulled apart in de­tail on round­table tele­vi­sion pro­grammes and by news­pa­pers and de­bates can last for days.

“On the ba­sis of a few mis­takes, some clubs have found jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for fail­ing to achieve their ob­jec­tives, some coaches have started eye­ing the re­newal of their con­tracts and some ed­i­tors have taken ad­van­tage to sell a few ex­tra copies,” said Nic­chi, him­self a for­mer in­ter­na­tional ref­eree.

“In do­ing, so they forget they hurt the im­age of Ital­ian foot­ball.

“We have had some won­der­ful, in­tense games but (the re­sult) has been traced back to a sin­gle in­ci­dent such as throw-in, a penalty — things which will al­ways hap­pen even with the use of tech­nol­ogy.” Reuters


Ju­ven­tus’ Sami Khedira (front) is tack­led by Sam­p­do­ria’s Karol Linetty as the ref­eree watches in a Serie A match at Luigi Fer­raris Sta­dium in Genoa on Sun­day.

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