Monday, 11 February 2008

Farina’s Catania hangover

The controversy in Catania has deepened after referee Stefano Farina skipped the ‘terzo tempo’ and now he could face repercussions.

Inter beat Catania 2-0 at the Stadio Angelo Massimino last night, but their first goal from Esteban Cambiasso should have been ruled offside.

The Sicilian fans responded by ironically cheering referee Farina and singing songs designed to bait him and it seems that their actions had the desired effect.

Farina marched straight to the dressing room instead of taking part in the ‘terzo tempo’ handshakes and may be punished for his actions.

"I saw that Farina left the pitch straight away and he seemed to be muttering something," Italian Referees Association (AIA) chief Cesare Gussoni said on Rai Radio Anch’io Sport.

"I don’t know why he decided to go straight to the dressing room, but I will have to listen to his side of the story."

The idea of the ‘terzo tempo’ was to reduce the tension between players and officials in the hope of encouraging sportsmanship on the pitch and peace on the terraces.

"Every now and again the ‘terzo tempo’ doesn’t go smoothly," Italian Players’ Asscociation (AIC) spokesman Sergio Campana admitted on RadioUno.

"You could see that at the Napoli-Lazio game where all the players attacked the referee. But Farina made a dubious choice to miss it.

"It can be understood on a human level, but less so on an institutional one. As a referee he has to set an example."

However, Campana believes that the pressure on referees in Serie A is too great and stresses the need for greater tolerance in the peninsula.

"Decades have passed since I was a player, but I still hear referees discussed in the same terms," he lamented.

"To ask for the officials to be infallible and analyse their decisions on TV seems too much.

"We need to teach people that referees have to make their decisions in a 100th of a second. I’d like the situations to be shown on TV as the referee sees it and then in slow motion."

Source: C4 Football Italia

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