Tension is growing in Serie A over refereeing mistakes and many football talk shows in Italy are discussing whether or not coaches should have one VAR challenge per game.
There have been many controversial incidents in Serie A since the beginning of the season, but tension has grown over the last few weeks with several coaches sent off for dissent and many others going public with their discontent.
Empoli’s Aurelio Andreazzoli and Cagliari’s Walter Mazzarri didn’t hide their disappointment for some referees decisions that, in their view, could have gone the opposite way in their games against Inter and Roma respectively.
The Tuscans’ President Fabrizio Corsi even accused some Serie A clubs of calling referees’ chiefs and during the previous weekend four coaches had been sent off for dissent: José Mourinho, Luciano Spalletti, Gian Piero Gasperini and Simone Inzaghi.
Gasperini called referees ‘a problem’ after Atalanta’s 1-1 draw against Udinese, while Inzaghi was furious for a late penalty kick awarded to Juventus after a VAR check in the derby d’Italia.
According to Il Corriere dello Sport, Napoli could request VAR files from Juventus games against Roma and Inter and both the Nerazzurri and the Partenopei are disappointed because they expect uniformity in judgements, which is just what Mazzarri complained about after Cagliari-Roma last night.
Many football talk shows in Italy are discussing whether or not coaches should be given a VAR challenge, so one opportunity to trigger a review of an incident, as it happens in tennis. Empoli’s Andreazzoli said he would support such a proposal.
Venezia also complained over a red card shown to Ethan Ampadu against Salernitana.
The incident occurred 67 minutes into yesterday’s Serie A match, when Ampadu went into a sliding tackle on Franck Ribery.
At first, the Wales international was stunned that a free kick had been given, then in outright shock when the straight red card was flashed at him.
Even after a VAR check, the referee decided to confirm his decision, which left the club stunned.
The Lagunari’s president Duncan Niederauer talked about the incident after the match.
“I never speak after matches, I always leave that burden to the players and the manager, but tonight is different. I felt the duty to do so,” he said.
“What happened tonight is the same thing that happened last season at Salernitana, when the match was stolen by the referee’s decisions. I deeply respect the work of the referees, but I can’t help but wonder what happened in Salerno then and what happened tonight. The thing we ask is to review the images as we have seen them. They made us play without a man in a fundamental game for an unjust expulsion.
“The appeal that I’m making is for Venezia to be treated like any other club in Serie A. There is VAR for cases like these, and this evening it has not been used properly. We play our game correctly, and I would like the rest of the people involved in the games to do their job correctly as well.”
One month ago, José Mourinho said he was happy to notice that Italian football had really changed because nobody was talking about referees incidents anymore. It didn’t take long before old habits returned.