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By ESPN Staff
Feb 24, 2008

Juventus demand action over referees

MILAN, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Juventus have written to the Italian football federation and the referees' association demanding that action be taken to improve the performance of officials after recent controversial incidents.

Juve, third in Serie A, lost 2-1 at Reggina on Saturday after conceding a debatable penalty in stoppage time. Claudio Ranieri's side felt especially aggrieved after having three strong penalty appeals of their own turned down.

'Juventus again asks the federation to take immediate action to clean up a seriously compromised situation. We need to rediscover faith in referees and reinvigorate Italian football,' said the letter which was published on Juventus's website on Sunday.

The club are back in the top flight after spending last season in Serie B having been found guilty of procuring favourable referees in a match-fixing scandal.

'In the course of this season and last, Juventus have always tried to defuse tension with referees...accepting decisions with fair play, even controversial ones,' the letter added.

'In the light of what happened at Reggio Calabria however, it is an attitude we must reconsider. Again in the course of this season Juventus have been damaged in an irreversible way by a decision of the referee.'

Italy has a number of inexperienced match officials, partly because of some referees being struck off following the match-fixing affair.

AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani has suggested foreign referees be brought into Serie A while others say technology must be used to help the officials.

Italian referees' chief Pierlugi Collina has said his officials remain some of the best in the world.