Referees Association prosecutor arrested for drug trafficking

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

In a truly extraordinary story, the chief prosecutor for the Italian Referees’ Association (AIA) has been arrested for international drug trafficking.

There were 42 arrests in the Milan and Lombardy area connected to the trafficking ring, which was accused of smuggling six tonnes of marijuana and hashish into the country.

Among those stopped by police there was Rosario D’Onofrio, who had until today been working as the chief prosecutor and legal advisor for the Italian Referees’ Association.

AIA President Alfredo Trentalange announced that D’Onofrio had resigned this morning, without stating the reasons.

FIGC President Gabriele Gravina said he found the news “disconcerting” and had asked for an explanation from the AIA.

D’Onofrio was formerly an officer in the army and was already in the news on October 28 when he was deferred to the disciplinary commission of the FIGC (Italian Football Federation) for failing to open an investigation when a former assistant referee protested at the way referees were graded.

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