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Nov 12, 2013

Italy's Prandelli condemns controversies

Juventus head coach Antonio Conte believes Juventus should be given credit after beating title rivals Napoli 3-0 to close the gap of Serie A leaders Roma

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has expressed his regret at two incidents at the weekend which showed Italian football in a bad light, although he took heart from one moment which has restored his faith in the game.

• Rzouki: Roma, you have been warned

Speaking at a news conference ahead of Italy's friendly international with Germany on Friday night, Prandelli looked back on a weekend which was overshadowed by two unsavoury incidents.

Nocerina players forced their game with Salernitana to be abandoned on Sunday after feigning injuries to leave the referee no option but to call the third-division clash off. Salernitana have since been awarded a 3-0 win amid claims the Nocerina 'Ultra' supporters had threatened the players not to take to the field in the first place.

"We've all lost," said Prandelli on Tuesday. "In hindsight, maybe it could have been dealt with differently. When you are faced with a situation in which you are threatened, you have to have the courage not to take to the field."

The other controversy came in Turin, where Juventus fans addressed geographically discriminatory chants towards their guests from Naples, resulting in a partial stadium closure for the Bianconeri's next two home matches.

"It doesn’t surprise me at all," Prandelli said. "For years, we've been saying that we're kidding ourselves by believing we have the best football and the best fans, but that's not how it is, so I'm not surprised."

A step in the right direction was provided in Cagliari, though, where captain Daniele Conti celebrated the second of his goals in a 2-1 win over Torino by racing to his son, who was working as a ballboy.

"It was very touching and emotional to see Daniele Conti's celebration," Prandelli said. "It brought a smile back to my face, making me want to follow football again."

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