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Italy cries scandal at Juventus referee

By AFP, 2000-05-08


Italian soccer was in a state of turmoil on Monday after a controversial refereeing decision all but handed the league title to Juventus.

The Serie A leaders were 1-0 up on Sunday when Parma's Fabio Cannavaro headed home a 90th minute corner. But referee Massimo De Santis disallowed the strike, saying there had been pushing in the penalty area.

Juventus' victory kept them two points ahead of Lazio, with just one match to play, and left a furious Lazio president Sergio Cragnotti claiming that his club had morally won the championship.

"We're sorry, but it's a scandal," screamed the front-page headline of the Corriere dello Sport, referring to "the incredible decision by the referee."

"I have seen a colossal injustice... and something has to be done," wrote editor Mario Sconcerti, as the theory that Italian referees help Juventus to become champions was advanced for the second time in three years.

Juventus edged Inter Milan to the 1998 title in what was dubbed "The Season of Poison" because of a series of dubious refereeing decisions in Juventus' favour.

Italy's biggest sports daily, La Gazzetta dello Sport, revived those same concerns on Monday headlining: "The poisoned league title" on the front page and adding: "Mystery foul: Cannavaro's 1-1 not given."

The Corriere della Sera published a list of five matches - four of them against title rivals - in which controversial refereeing decisions had been made this season, all of them in Juventus' favour.

Television replays appeared to confirm Cannavaro's version of events - that the penalty area confusion was no different to what happens with every corner and that there was no major infringement.

Lazio could have faced their final match level on points with Juventus, opening up the prospect of a play-off for the title.

Instead, club chief Cragnotti was left calling for a complete overhaul of Italian football and insisting that his team were the real champions.

"Our football has to be completely re-built," he told reporters. "Everybody, whether they are fans or not, saw what happened in Turin and no-one is able to explain why that goal wasn't allowed.

"Everything that led up to it was perfectly normal, if anything the Juventus players were committing the fouls - first trying to hold back Crespo and then Cannavaro. But the referee disallowed it. Why, I don't know."

And he warned: "It's not going to change the result, but Lazio are going to make their voice heard where it counts. For the second season in a row, the championship is ending with the clear signal 'everything's against Lazio'.

"Once again, there's been a lack of sportsmanship and also a lack of professionalism by those who carry out certain duties.

"There's a lot of work to be done in the League and the federation, because it's just not possible for people to invest billions and billions of lira and then find themselves in situations where things are not clear."

Cragnotti said he couldn't wait for a pan-European league to emerge, one that employed full-time professional referees.

And he summed up: "Lazio deserve the league title, both morally and for their football. We've shown that we're clearly superior in the head-to-head matches and that it wasn't by chance that we beat the league leaders (last month).

"For me, Lazio have won the league."
 

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There is nothing to add to this. Cragnotti says it all! It's a shame in soccer and the whole world knows it!!
 
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:( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(
It's so true i wanna cry all day and all night......
Lazio... Campioni del cuore
Sempre e solo FORZA LAZIO
:( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(
:( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(
 

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Well, perhaps at this kind of situation, we rely on media. And better not an Italian newspaper, I guess.
I hope this time the media can do a favor to Serie A. And I mean Serie A.
Just to add...3 out of 4 newspapers I read on Monday in my country also pointed out that it should've been a goal.
So it's really the time for Cragnotti to urge some drastic actions, for they may never be another chance. This time, when all eyes in the world are focused on this incident.

Forza Lazio
 
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