Agnelli: ‘UEFA penalise Italian clubs’

Juventus President Andrea Agnelli accused UEFA designator Pierluigi Collina of “vanity” and “scientifically” damaging Italian clubs in Europe.

The Bianconeri won 3-1 in Madrid, but went out of the Champions League quarter-finals 4-3 on aggregate to a last-gasp Cristiano Ronaldo penalty.

While at first it might look like a stonewall penalty, from the camera behind the goal, it’s visible that Medhi Benatia got the ball.

“We must stay calm and analyse the situation. I see a series of countries that implemented VAR and I saw incidents that went against Italian clubs recently, such as the foul on Cuadrado, Milan at Arsenal and Juve tonight, proving we absolutely need VAR in the Champions League,” Agnelli told Mediaset Premium.

“This isn’t about one or two points, but rather going forward in a massive tournament that brings so much money and prestige, we can’t allow these incidents to occur.

“For some reason, the vanity of the refereeing designator is trying to scientifically prove he is unbiased and keeps assigning referees who are against Italian clubs.”

He was referring to Pierluigi Collina, an Italian former referee, who is in charge of assigning officials to individual games.

“It’s not Juve, but Roma had penalties denied against Barcelona, Milan went out of the Europa League with Arsenal, us tonight. If it’s a technical problem because UEFA don’t have good enough referees, we can offer to help train them.

“When we’re in the knockout rounds of the tournament, we need to train the referees up quickly, put good people in charge and help them to bring in VAR.

“A goal-line official behind the line isn’t the same thing as an official in front of a video replay. If UEFA are not ready, then they need to train it rapidly, just as Serie A did, plus in Germany, Portugal and elsewhere.”

The Italian Federation and its Coverciano centre will train the referees on VAR technology protocol going into the 2018 World Cup and Agnelli suggested they do the same for European officials.

“Players make mistakes, so do referees, but this official completely lost control of the situation. A referee in Madrid for the quarter-final must have seen the first leg, realise the Dybala red card was excessive and understand the various situations.

“The referee tonight was in total chaos. It’s a pity, the performance of the boys remains, we confirmed – as did PSG last season and Roma last night – proved you can come back from 3-0 down to turn things around.

“Incidents happen, the referee didn’t understand the moment at all. The most important thing is we have the technology, it exists and is in use, so we have to bring it into the Champions League.

“The referee tonight, when he sees it back, will be the most disappointed person here to realise what happened.

“At this point, we want to wish Roma and Lazio the best of luck, because it’s important for Italian clubs to go as far as possible.”

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