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Wednesday April 10 2013
Moratti puts referees on the spot

Inter have raised suspicions over the validity of the championship. Antonio Labbate looks at whether they are the victims of bad or dishonest refereeing.

The anger and the frustration was as understandable as it was acceptable. The decision to award Atalanta a penalty in their 4-3 win at Inter on Sunday, albeit when the home side were still 3-1 up, was as unjust as it was absurd. Nerazzurro President Massimo Moratti, boss Andrea Stramaccioni and captain Javier Zanetti were right to make their voices heard.

What they said is much more questionable. The idea that there is some sort of plot to damage Inter was a dangerous one to allege, one which was arguably backed up with pretty flimsy evidence. Moratti – who surely recognises mistakes made by his transfer chief Marco Branca and boss Stramaccioni – argued that 21 games without a penalty was enough to warrant an Exhibit A tag. Zanetti’s admission that he didn’t know who was behind the supposed conspiracy highlighted that we’re still in the land of speculation.

Moratti, Stramaccioni and Zanetti have a right to express their opinions, thoughts and concerns. They may be correct, they may be wrong. Tomorrow could enlighten, but today there is no concrete proof. Moratti’s penalty stats are noteworthy, but inconclusive. After all, last term, Juventus moaned about a lack of spot-kicks after receiving just one in their first 32 League games, but that didn’t stop them becoming champions.

The wider issue at the moment is that, for some who are directly involved in the game or for those who watch it, there seems to be a doubt over the legitimacy of Italian whistle blowers. And there are multiple reasons for that.

The Calciopoli scandal of 2006 is still very much in the forefront of the Italian footballing landscape. Sentences may have been passed, but few believe that justice was done. Club officials, including Moratti, continue to maintain their own theories of events over a scandal that still grips the game on the peninsula.

In a country where suspicion has its own DNA marker, it doesn’t take too many bad refereeing decisions to go against you before your inner Woodward and Bernstein is awoken. The fact that Moratti feels that there is something sinister behind the errors which his side have suffered is simply an indication of how poor some of the officiating has been.

There have been some shocking performances this term outside of Inter matches. Chievo-Roma, Fiorentina-Milan and Catania-Juventus are just three examples. Remember the latter, where Catania had a good goal disallowed and Arturo Vidal’s strike should have been cancelled out? President Antonino Pulvirenti is still fuming now, but he’s refusing to back Moratti.

“We’re getting towards the end of the season, where objectives are close and controversies are on the increase,” he stated this week. “But I don’t agree with Moratti, I don’t believe in the bad faith of the referees. And that is coming from me…”

Referee chief Marcello Nicchi stood up for his officials on Monday, claiming that they, like players, will make mistakes. He then suggested that anyone who didn’t believe in the refereeing sector could not be a part of the Italian football system.

The latter portion of his argument was a clear message aimed at Moratti and raises an important question. If Moratti is truly convinced that his Inter side are being targeted for special treatment, then why own a football club? Why invest in an outfit that struggles to net a profit year after year? Why bother trying to win if you don’t think you will be allowed to? Would an atheist go to church and pray to God?

If anything, this latest refereeing storm – which won’t be the last – illustrates that the current refereeing system doesn’t work. Some are just not up to the job and the AIA’s human error defence is too simplistic. The decision to use goal-line assistants needs to be re-examined, match officials need to become fitter, better and stronger. And if that doesn’t work then vociferous club officials need to unite and, if they feel necessary, consider lobbying for the introduction of video technology. Alternatively, they can allow everything to stay as it is and take turns in crying foul.

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Have your say...
Ooh really !? So its Moratti's fault fixtures has nothing to do with it ?? yeah yeah even today's match against cagiliari was a coincidence right ? i dont know if ur a hater or just so adorable that u cant understand whats happening its either 1 and anybody who watched every inter game knows it, it feels like all the coaches when facing inter their formation and game plan is " go out there and throw yourself in the box we'll surely win dont worry " .. STRAMA is the man!!
on the 14th April, 2013 at 7:13pm
The only thing Inter are the victims of is a mediocre squad and poor planning. The president has sold off the club's best players and failed to replace them and has allowed the team to grow old and tired. What did he expect to happen?
on the 14th April, 2013 at 5:36pm
Refs always make mistakes and always will. The difference from serie a to america is in serie a they took away 2 championships from Juve and here in the US they didn't take anything away from the Lakers or the Patriots who both won titles by cheating and/or dirty refs...and it was proven. Moratti is just being a rich, spoiled brat, sore loser. Take your losses like a man.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 8:41pm
even bayern couldn't do it, just imagine if strama had a world class striker and a play maker what he could've accomplished... I just hope moratti gives him a chance and get a couple a couple of players with quality and I'm sure he can win Serie A .. no one can fight ref errors and specially if half of ur team is injured which I think they manipulated everyone to think that this is the main reason for this crisis and not fix
on the 11th April, 2013 at 10:29am
I won't say if it wasn't for the fix inter would've been 1st cuz of the injuries tragedy but I can assure u tht inter could've easily got 2nd or 3rd, by fix they simply made evryone believe tht inter have bad players in all positions and that strama's too early for Serie A which is nonsense, although strama's has decsent players, with no injuries and ref fix he can control any match with his highly tactics. Thnk about how he destroyed juve 3-0 If it wasn't for the offside goal and marched to 2nd
on the 11th April, 2013 at 10:18am
Bad transfer market,Many injuries,no team identity,way to many ref decisions against us and to many in favor for Milan
Cant blame the refs for the decline of Inter this season, the biggest blame goes to Branca and the transfer market, we needed vice-milito he bought Schelleto(how can he be a professional in Serie A, im better than him).Inter has had too many ref decisions against them, if Milan would have them I wonder what Gallianis reaction would be?
on the 11th April, 2013 at 7:05am
The Inter penalty thing pales into insignificance with what was done to Malaga, who wouldnt be bitter about going out of the champions league that way. At least they can be proud of their display two away goals in Germany is a great achievement.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 5:11am
Juventus proved the great side they are against Munich didnt they, ha ha ha. They beat Celtic playing American football, but this just shows how weak Seria A is at the moment when Bayern's youth shone through. This is the way to go in my opinion. There is always next season.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 5:07am
Are we all blind that the referee on Sunday did not award a 50/50 foul that was a penalty (silvestre v atalanta), but invented a handball for a penalty. Are we all in agreement that this is an impossibility which has never been seen, albeit in a very important game toward CL qualification? This is not just a mistake.
on the 11th April, 2013 at 3:38am
There have been too many suspicious decisions made against the Nerazzuri. Any neutral must agree that the referees have given Milan 3rd. From the suspicious Juve Inter, we have 2 Atalanta, Cagliari, Udinese,Lazio, Torino, Juve, Siena, 8 games where according to Italian panelists on Domenica Sportiva all agreed that there were more than one incident which was "missed" or given against Inter. Total up,where would Inter be. Please do not forget before this all began we were 1 pt behind 1st. Facts
on the 11th April, 2013 at 3:35am
Combing Inter's season with the referee decisions is a straw man argument for the Anti-Inter. Moratti's statements are factually correct, more importantly because there are actual mistakes. He's not asking for things that aren't there. Nor is he talking about an alibi for his season.

why must a "journalist" try to put words in the mouth of an Inter official to make his point? Do you not actually have anything meaningful to say?
on the 10th April, 2013 at 11:03pm
@mahdi. against udinese el sharaawy penalty minute 90 .. against cagiliari 2 penalties worn't awarded for them, by these 2 wins milan reached 3rd place while referee's continued penalizing inter and then against fiorentina the harsh red card which i think if el sharaawy we're an inter player he could've received a yellow card for acting haha, what makes it worse is that inter are already drowning with their injuries and transfer market problems, and yet everybody blames it on strama!! PATHETIC
on the 10th April, 2013 at 9:40pm
@Timo.. Well unlike u im more of a fan than to stop watching Serie A for these fixtures, zanetti was absolutely right when he said we're paying for this cuz we're different,tht says it all even if we dont reach champions or europe league im not sad atleast inter is a team which achieve their goals by hard work and outplaying the contender not by reaching for their pocket. @mahdi. Inter we're 10 players for the whole second half, montolivo was a mistake no fix however milan reached 3rd by fix
on the 10th April, 2013 at 9:30pm
ITS THE STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS FAULTS NOT THE REFEREE!

KARMA IS A @#$@%
on the 10th April, 2013 at 8:43pm
dont worry, bayern will show what weak serie a fake leaders should do when playing outside of influencial ref's....lose... GOOD DAY!
on the 10th April, 2013 at 8:13pm
The good news is,. Inter,.are a bigger team in the world, than the French team,.. Whoinventedus. It's why they will always be Hunchbacks. It will be a long time, before they win more than Inter. Further good news, however, is,.. most of you children here will live long enough, to see them try to do it. Inter means, " We are Brothers to the world ". We will even let Hunchbacks, have a chance. Forza Nerazurra !!!
on the 10th April, 2013 at 7:30pm
But as of right now, the management is in fault for the decline of Inter. First thing we need to do is kick the stupid medic team out cause they are clearly not doing their job. If we had a full squad or only even half the injuries were cut down, I GUARANTEE we'd be second or third on the table, hands down.
on the 10th April, 2013 at 6:34pm
As an inter fan, i admit the conspiracy talk is pre-mature but there has been way too many calls going against us so the team members are justified to complain. As for all of you commenting about the Calciopoli, are you seriously stiil talking about it? And blaming Inter when YOUR teams were the clear cluprits and hence got punished. At that time only Juve and Milan were ahead of them in the table and we were the only good team remaining in Seria A that's why we dominated as such.
on the 10th April, 2013 at 6:32pm
Mr Moratti and the Inter management should stop complaining about the refs mistakes and should start focusing on the real issues surrounding Inter atm.

There might have been alot of refs mistakes, and many might have damaged Inter more than many sides in the league, but Inter in any way are not strong enough to compete for the championship nor for the 3rd spot. so the ref`s mistakes should be the least of their concerns.

And this is coming from the biggest Inter fan in the middle east.
on the 10th April, 2013 at 5:39pm
I'm happy with Moratti's recent statements, because he's at last acknowledged what a load of nonsense Calciopoli was. If referee's are still acting in bad faith, then Luciano Moggi must not have been the problem, as he's been out of football for 7 years now.

Between false passports, false accounting, spying, manipulating evidence and sporting fraud, I have no sympathy. Farsopoli and Mourinho masked Moratti's deficiencies for a while, but now those effects are gone, his club is heading backwards
on the 10th April, 2013 at 5:34pm
There's many ref errors.
But, figc didn't punish ref yet.
Now that inter claimed to be a fictim, 2officials punished by figc.

Juve concerns about d chosen ref for d game against milan, who was d same guy who caused controversy at siena vs juve. But,that's their authority. Result: armPit hand ball.
When conte protest ref decision on ignored hand ball, who get punished?
on the 10th April, 2013 at 5:32pm
What goes around comes around....almost every footballer holds,grabs, rolls around. I agree with most here Inter doesn't know how to buy players that fir their style or even have a defined style to uphold.
on the 10th April, 2013 at 5:22pm
When your conceding 4 goals to Atlanta, you deserve to have decisions made against you. An incompetent team, manager and president. Morrati is deluded as r inter fans, you have to wake up and realise, inter are now just a mid table team. Morrati must b upset, 3 years ago he won the cl, now he can barely get into the Europa league, he must be so angry hes looking to blame someone and who better then the referees, if i was an inter fan, i would want this guy to sell the club ASAP
on the 10th April, 2013 at 4:52pm
Aw is morrati and inter fans crying because they can't win a game? Because the referees forced inter to sell motta, sneijder, eto, maicon didnt they. The reality is if you take away mourinho and the fact that calciopoli removed the best teams, inter basically had a league with no rivals, and then won a champions league because of jomo. Look at inter since jomo left and since juve recovered, that have gone back to being completely hopeless like they always have been.
on the 10th April, 2013 at 4:48pm
I don't understand why people blame Inter for Calciopolli. Teams got caught cheating and had to pay for it. For all neutral viewers, u must admit that Inter have consistently been on the wrong side of calls through out the season. Yes they have a sub par team, but the law of average has to come in at some point...it hasn't. Saying that Inter hasn't won anything before Calciopoli justifies the scandal, the games where influenced by those punished.
on the 10th April, 2013 at 4:27pm
The conspiracy theory is ridiculous. When the penalty was awarded Inter were up 3-1 and the penalty made the score 3-2. Did the conspirators know that the Inter players would crumble mentally and give up two more goals in a matter of minutes? You can't blame the ref or some other nefarious plot for giving up 3 other legitimate goals when you are supposed to protecting a lead. The penalty made the game closer, the horrendous performance by Inter players is what caused you to lose.
on the 10th April, 2013 at 3:59pm
@ marbh fhaisc if you check the stats from the calciopoli seasons you will find that both inter & milan received more penalties than juve.. Anyways the reason inter didn't win was that moratti hadn't constructed a team nearly as complete as milan or juve during those 2 seasons. Dont mention that penalty on robaldo against juve because thats what inter fans always do. Just be gratefull for 5 scudetto, a president with deep pockets(seems to be running out:) & that inter wasn't relegated!
on the 10th April, 2013 at 3:33pm
What about the first milan derby that was given to inter after Montolivo goal was disallowed? Mistakes happen but inter have a weak team in all the lines.
on the 10th April, 2013 at 3:25pm
To all you Inter fans who believe in the conspiracy. Will you now stop watching Italian football? If you truly believe in a fix then you will. If you continue to watch then you know the truth. You wouldn't stay with your wife if you knew she was cheating on you would you?
on the 10th April, 2013 at 3:19pm
This is unbelievably ridiculous, Im a huge inter fan and i've watched evry inter game twice or more. I believe that anybody who disagrees with wht mr.Moratti was saying is either a hater or a milan fan.These shameful incidents started happening ever since inter closed the gap between juve to 1 point, we went from 2nd to 5th and wht was funny tht whnvr juve loses inter has to lose too (not a coincidence) ,then when we were no longer a threat to juve milan took it from their,
on the 10th April, 2013 at 2:59pm

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