AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has pointed the finger at Sunday’s referee Paolo Valeri for his side’s 3-2 defeat against Parma on Sunday.
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Galliani says he is waiting for apologies for two pivotal decisions in the game, the first, a handball by Alessandro Lucarelli, deemed involuntary by Valeri, which could have earned his side a penalty and the second, also illustrated on Milan’s website, the positioning of the free kick which led to the home team’s winner deep in stoppage time.
"I wouldn’t like our low profile regarding referees to be interpreted and viewed as a weakness," Galliani said. "There were two clear penalties, and their free kick was taken six metres closer to goal than the correct position, and the TV images show this."
According to calculations made on the club’s website, using the cut of the grass as a reference, Marco Parolo’s free kick was moved eight metres closer to the Milan goal, allowing him to score from a distance of 35 metres.
"To consider this episode closed, we’re expecting somebody to provide us with some explanations and apologies," added Galliani, who was seen criticising his own team’s forward Valter Birsa for a poor free kick at the Stadio Tardini.
Galliani got his reply on Monday, although it was not exactly what he was expecting.
"Maybe he should be asking for apologies from his own players," said Marcello Nicchi, president of the Italian Referee’s Association (AIA), to Sky. "We don’t owe any apologies to anybody. Joking aside, I don’t think I saw any particular errors at Parma."
That is an opinion shared by the man responsible for selecting referees for Serie A games, Braschi, who said "I’ve seen the replays, but I think it probably wasn’t a penalty."
The outcome leaves Milan not only 16 points adrift of the Serie A summit, but also 11 points behind the top three, and the pressure is once again mounting on coach Massimiliano Allegri, whose future may now depend on their next three matches against Lazio, Fiorentina and Barcelona.