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 By Ben Gladwell

Cagliari to face no punishment from Serie A for Blaise Matuidi chants

Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol assesses the impact losing Emre Can to Juventus would have at Anfield, especially with the imminent arrival of Naby Keita.

Serie A have confirmed Cagliari are to face no punishment after Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi said he "experienced racism" from their supporters during the Bianconeri's 1-0 win on Saturday.

Matuidi condemned chants from Cagliari supporters in a Facebook post he posted upon returning to Turin and received an official apology from the club the following day.

But since the chants were not mentioned in the referee's report and were not heard by any Lega Serie A officials at the Sardegna Arena either, Cagliari have escaped punishment.

"We are unable to take any action against Cagliari for the deplorable expressions of a racial manner to which the player Matuidi of Juventus claims to have been subjected, since these expressions were not heard either by the referee or by the federal prosecutor or the stadium security group," the Lega Serie A's disciplinary report for the weekend's matches said.

Juve defender Medhi Benatia has also escaped punishment for using his elbow in an aerial challenge with Leonardo Pavoletti.

The clash happened moments before Juventus took the lead, but while it was judged a foul by the referee, who confirmed in a statement that he had seen the incident, he waved play on and, as such, video evidence cannot be applied retrospectively.

"In the 73rd minute, I saw and evaluated an aerial clash in which Benatia and Pavoletti challenged for the ball as a normal foul in Cagliari's favour," said referee Gianpaolo Calvarese, who was asked to provide a statement for the disciplinary panel.

"Considering that the ball went immediately to one of Pavoletti's teammates, I waved play on and played the advantage, which happened to materialise."

Calvarese added that he had made a gesture for all to see that he had waved play on and seen the incident.

Cagliari were infuriated since, after they lost possession, Juve scored the only goal of the game.

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.


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