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Feb 25, 2014

Referees defend Juve penalty decision

Serie A's designator of match referees has defended Nicola Rizzoli for not giving Torino a penalty in the Turin derby at Juventus at the weekend.

Rzouki: Another controversial Derby Della Mole

Television replays show that Andrea Pirlo made contact with Omar El Kaddouri inside the penalty area in the closing stages of the Bianconeri's 1-0 win and that a spot-kick should have been awarded.

Although he did not say that Rizzoli's decision was technically correct, referees' chief Stefano Braschi says the view he and his assistants had of the incident meant he could not have pointed to the spot.

Nicola Rizzoli was the man in the middle for AC Milan's win against Juventus
Nicola Rizzoli has come under fire after his failure to award Torino a penalty in the Turin derby

"There was only one angle which showed that it was a penalty," Braschi told Mediaset. "You couldn't see it from the field and even [Torino coach Giampiero] Ventura only realised after seeing the replays after the match."

According to Braschi, the position and movement of the players prevented Rizzoli and his assistants from seeing the contact inside the penalty area.

Unlike broadcasters, referees do not have the advantage of reviewing such incidents from each and every angle, in super-slow motion and using digital reconstructions, and Braschi believes that is the way things should remain.

"Rizzoli was well-placed, as was his assistant behind the goal [Gianpaolo] Calvarese," he continued. "Television can only help us in situations where we are discussing whether a goal was scored or not, or if a foul took place inside or outside the penalty area.

"In any other situation, it is the referee who decides, and there are some things that they simply cannot see."

One man who did not share this opinion was Torino president Urbano Cairo, who felt he had a clear view of the incident from his vantage point in the stands of the Juventus Stadium.

"I don't usually comment on the refereeing, but Rizzoli's mistakes are blatant," he told ANSA. "We, Torino, were penalised in the derby. It's a shame because he's an international referee, but maybe it was not one of his best days."

Rizzoli, 42, was in charge of last season's Champions League final, and is listed as one of the officials for this summer's World Cup finals in Brazil.

Meanwhile, Juve have escaped a stadium closure but have been fined 25 thousand euros for the misconduct of their fans, who "displayed two insulting banners" against the memory of the Torino side which was wiped out by a plane crash in fog in 1949.

The plane carrying the team crashed into the Basilica di Superga on a hilltop near Turin. There were no survivors.

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