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Australian pioneer Marston passes away

By ESPN Staff

Palermo fail in ball boy appeal after Roma loss

MILAN, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Serie A side Palermo have failed in their bid to have Saturday's 1-0 defeat at AS Roma overturned or replayed due to the actions of a ball boy.

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini said the boy had broken the rules by placing the ball on the corner spot and allowing Roma to take a quick corner from which Mancini scored.

'I have dispatched my lawyers and I have asked for a 3-0 win or at least for the match to be replayed,' Zamparini said.

'We have read the rules - the ball boys must stay behind the advertising boards and throw the ball to the nearest player. What happened on Saturday is against the rules.'

However, the league's disciplinary commission has rejected the appeal, a statement said on Tuesday.

Roma are second in the league while Palermo have lost four in a row in all competitions and have slipped to ninth.

The Italian game has been hit by a number of controversial refereeing decisions recently. Some clubs have said the current crop of match officials, whittled down by the 2006 match-fixing scandal, are too young and lack experience.

There have also been calls for foreign officials to be brought in but Italian referees' chief Pierluigi Collina has defended his men.

'They make mistakes but it is absurd to judge them with television,' he told Tuesday's Gazzetta dello Sport.

'In France, Spain, England they have more problems than us. Who do I call?'