Referee’s Association chief arrested for drug trafficking case gets stranger

epa09733396 The VAR monitor is seen during the Italian Serie A soccer match Udinese Calcio vs Torino FC at the Friuli - Dacia Arena stadium in Udine, Italy, 06 February 2022. EPA-EFE/ETTORE GRIFFONI

The story of the chief prosecutor of the Italian Referees’ Association arrested for international drug trafficking continues to get even stranger.

Rosario D’Onofrio resigned this morning and it was only later revealed it was because he was one of 42 people arrested for running a drug trafficking organisation in the Milan area, which saw six tonnes of marijuana and hashish recovered by police.

The Italian Referees’ Association (AIA) then released a statement this evening giving even more surprising details.

According to the AIA, D’Onofrio had already been arrested and put under house arrest in 2020, but declined to inform them of that fact.

He had therefore violated their code of ethics and lied when applying for the promotion to chief prosecutor.

Meanwhile, former referee Piero Giacomelli has told La Repubblica newspaper that D’Onofrio had effectively “ended my career” and had a “disproportionate power to hand out punishments” to officials he didn’t like.

Giacomelli was suspended in February 2022 due to irregularities in the expenses account to the tune of €70.

“D’Onofrio received an award in July as best national director for referees. Linesman Avalos a year ago provided telephone interceptions where D’Onofrio told him what he should and shouldn’t do to climb the performance tables.

“The referee La Penna was meant to become an international in place of a different referee, but then he too was accused of irregular expenses and was suspended, only to then be brought back by D’Onofrio.”

3 Comments on “Referee’s Association chief arrested for drug trafficking case gets stranger”

  1. Only in Italy ! It’s not bad enough the Italian referees are egotistical and incompetent but now there Drug Barons!

  2. “ only in Italy “ ? Not true ..Byron Moreno , one of the most hated referee by Italians because of his horrible performance in Italy-S Korea eventually arrested for drug trafficking

Leave a Reply