Sunday, 24 February 2008

Juventus demand action over referees

Juventus have written to the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the referees' association (AIA) demanding that action be taken to improve the performance of officials after recent controversial incidents.

Juve, third in Serie A, lost 2-1 at Reggina on Saturday after conceding a debatable penalty in stoppage time.

Claudio Ranieri's side felt especially aggrieved after having three strong penalty appeals of their own turned down by referee Paolo Dondarini.

"We are extremely disappointed," said Ranieri. "First of all, we didn't deserve it and secondly, we have been penalised by not getting penalties."

Ahead of Tuesday's Turin derby against Torino, Juventus wrote an open letter to the FIGC and the AIA.

"Over the course of this season and last, Juventus has always tried to ease the tensions in clashes with the refereeing world, avoiding getting involved in situations and accepting even controversial decisions with fair play," read the letter.

"An approach that, unfortunately, considering what happened in Reggio Calabria, must be reconsidered.

"Once again this season, Juventus has been irreversibly damaged by the decisions of the referee."

The Turin giants believe the latest incident is the last straw considering their previous defeat, a 3-1 loss at Napoli in October, which was also the result of two controversial penalties.

"The repetition of such serious episodes has forced us to ask the highest federal organisations to intervene in order to guarantee the regularity of the championship and to protect the work and the professionalism of the players, coaches and executives of Juventus," continued the letter.

The latest setback means Juve go into their midweek encounter trailing four points behind second-placed Roma.

The Bianconeri will be hoping to avoid any further ill-treatment as they attempt to cut the deficit with the Giallorossi, who face an arduous task on Wednesday when they travel to the San Siro to meet Serie A leaders Inter.

"I don't think the referees have any bad intentions but they are making too many mistakes," said Juve president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli.

"In situations like this, there's no need for added technology, simply for the referees to use their eyesight."

Source: Reuters

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