Thursday, 2 April 2009

Lippi furious with official

Furious Italy coach Marcello Lippi lambasted referee Wolfgang Stark for dismissing striker Giampaolo Pazzini after just four minutes of their 1-1 FIFA World Cup qualifying draw with the Republic of Ireland.

Giampaolo Pazzini & Marcello LippiPazzini led with his arm when he jumped for a ball alongside John O'Shea and although the Irish defender suffered a heavy cut, there looked to be no malice in the Sampdoria striker's actions.

"It’s not right, not right. 90 minutes with 10 men because of that? At international level? It is not right in any way," Lippi fumed to Rai television.

The World champions went ahead in Bari after 10 minutes through Vincenzo Iaquinta but former Inter forward Robbie Keane equalised a minute from time to keep Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland two points behind the Group Eight leaders.

"We fought, we closed them down. It's a shame they scored a goal so late, I'm sorry for that but overall I'm sorry for having played a match at this level with 10 against 11 because of the fault of a referee," added Lippi.

A raft of controversies have hit Serie A referees in recent years but Lippi said Stark was far worse.

"We talk about our referees but look at the foreign ones," he said.

Pazzini, making his first Italy start having scored on his debut as a substitute in Saturday's 2-0 win in Montenegro, was stunned.

"I would have been shocked even to get a yellow. I think the referee, when he sees it on the replay, will see he has made a huge error," he said.

Source: Reuters

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