Rizzoli: ‘No Juventus-Inter error’

Referee Nicola Rizzoli explained precisely what happened in the contested Juventus victory over Inter, including that Mauro Icardi chance.

The Nerazzurri were furious after their 1-0 defeat in Turin last Sunday, releasing video clips showing a curious incident where Giorgio Chiellini seemed to take a free kick back towards Gigi Buffon, it was intercepted by Icardi and Rizzoli halted play.

Referee Nicola Rizzoli explained precisely what happened in the contested Juventus victory over Inter, including that Mauro Icardi chance.

The Nerazzurri were furious after their 1-0 defeat in Turin last Sunday, releasing video clips showing a curious incident where Giorgio Chiellini seemed to take a free kick back towards Gigi Buffon, it was intercepted by Icardi and Rizzoli halted play.

Rizzoli spoke to TV programme Le Iene and a clip of the interview was released ahead of Monday evening’s broadcast.

They showed him the footage and asked him to be the objective video analyst on his own performance.

“Chiellini gets the ball,” said Rizzoli. “He adjusts it with his foot and passes it to the goalkeeper to get him to take it. But, apart from the fact the ball hadn’t stopped so play was never resumed correctly, I think in this case the referee Rizzoli judged it to be taken incorrectly.

“He therefore blew the whistle and pointed for the free kick to be taken from the correct position. The ball has to be still when taking a free kick, so in that case Rizzoli noticed the ball was not still.

“He blew the whistle twice. Going forward with the footage, the kick was taken again and once again it was not still. Rizzoli therefore whistled again and put the ball back into the right position.

“Finally the ball is still and Chiellini takes the kick. What is the controversy here? I would not criticise the official for that.”

But wasn’t Icardi going clear on goal, ask Le Iene?

“In order to be clear on goal, the ball has to be in play. We’re talking about nothing, but then that is a normal part of Italian football.

“I can guarantee you it has never happened that a referee awards a foul when a player demands it. A referee would never do such a thing.”

Juventus chief John Elkann said this week that Inter must learn how to lose with dignity, so is that the situation here?

“I don’t think it’s about knowing how to win or how to lose. I believe Inter are doing everything to reduce the bans for their players and that is an understandable attitude, even if the method is to be criticised.”

Mauro Icardi received a two-game ban for dissent and kicking the ball just past Rizzoli’s head at the final whistle, while Ivan Perisic’s two-match suspension was reduced to one on appeal.

Is there fear of making life difficult for Juventus?

“No. Absolutely not. I think I’ve proved that already. At the start of the season there was all this talk about an error I made against Juventus when they were playing against Milan.

“In Italy everyone is a Coach, everyone is a player, everyone is a referee. The problem is when any decision is made in Italy, the decision will be criticised.”

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