Friday, 13 June 2008

[Euro 2008] Azzurri reaction

Italy coach Roberto Donadoni believes his side deserved to beat Romania, even though Gianluigi Buffon had to save a penalty to keep the team in Euro 2008.

World Champions Italy drew 1-1 but would have been out had Buffon not saved Adrian Mutu's late spot-kick.

"I think Italy played better than Romania," said the Azzurri boss.

Luca Toni had a goal wrongly ruled out and Donadoni added: "I don't usually speak about referees. But the refereeing was not of high quality."

Toni's header was disallowed with the score at 0-0 on the stroke of half time and Donadoni felt aggrieved, especially after Ruud van Nistelrooy's goal against his side in the 3-0 loss to the Netherlands.

Van Nistelrooy appeared offside but was played on by Christian Panucci lying off the pitch injured after a collision with Buffon.

"It's funny that they saw Panucci when he was off the field against Holland and then they didn't see the player by the post," said Donadoni. "The error really cost us."

The Azzurri coach has been under pressure after the defeat by the Netherlands and, although he apologised for the result against Romania, he was pleased with the performance.

"After the Holland game, all of us had to shoulder the responsibility," he added. "We were sorry to hurt so many Italian fans with the way we played.

"And we're sorry somewhat after this match, because we didn't get the three points I think we deserved."

The President of the Italian Football Federation Giancarlo Abete wants to know if UEFA will publicly comment on Luca Toni’s goal incorrectly ruled out for offside.

"I think UEFA at the highest level wanted to confirm Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s goal was valid, so they won’t have a problem confirming that the errors today were indeed mistakes. It would be very strange to do otherwise," said the FIGC chief.

The controversy over the Netherlands' opener in the 3-0 win over Italy was stirred up further when UEFA officials came out to back the linesman’s decision. Christian Panucci was considered active despite being off the field injured, but in today’s 1-1 with Romania there were no doubts Toni was in play.

"I expect UEFA to evaluate the incidents and maintain consistency. If they are going to take responsibility for all the refereeing decisions, then they should do so when they are right or wrong. They cannot just come out and comment when it is in their favour," continued Abete.

"Going into the break 1-0 up would’ve made it a different game. To be honest, most of the incidents did not go our way, as the goal was valid and Romania’s penalty seemed at the very least dubious," he added.

Italy now play France in their final group game on Tuesday needing a win to stand a chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals. A victory, coupled with group winners the Netherlands avoiding defeat against Romania would secure a spot in the last eight.

A score draw will also do for the Azzurri, if the Romanians are defeated.

Source: BBC

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