Posted on Apr 03
Italian referees chief Marcello Nicchi has hit back at AC Milan over the 'phantom goal' that was not awarded against Catania at the weekend.
Milan drew 1-1 in Sicily but felt they should have had an extra goal when Robinho's shot appeared to be cleared off the line by Giovanne Marchese.
Television replays were hardly conclusive, with one angle suggesting the entire ball had crossed the line but all the others doing the exact opposite.
Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani had reacted angrily claiming that it was the second time his side had been robbed of a valid goal.
The previous occasion was against Juventus when Sulley Muntari's shot was clawed back from about a metre behind the line by goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, only for the officials to miss it.
"There's little to discuss about the Muntari one in Milan-Juve, we all saw it, I was at the stadium, it was a bad mistake and the first thing we (the Referees' Commission) did was to study how that could happen," said Nicchi.
"But it's like when a goalkeeper misses a cross, or a striker misses a goal or a divet becomes decisive.
"The Catania incident, however, was different. Robinho's was not a goal and no one can show that it was one.
"People are talking about something that doesn't exist, the ball didn't go in and I'm adamant that it wasn't a goal."
That wasn't Galliani's view and he even wrote to Italian Football Federation (Figc) president Giancarlo Abete asking for the Italian League to consider introducing goaline officials like there are in the Champions League.
"Milan have been the victims on two recent occasions of as many refereeing mistakes," said Galliani in his letter.
"During Milan-Juventus and Catania-Milan two goals, which would have been decisive to the result (both games were drawn), were not validated because the officials did not see that the entire ball had crossed the line.
"Even people who officiate at football matches inevitably make mistakes but some of those are truly difficult to accept, even considering all disposable reason and understanding.
"Such as the two against Milan."
Galliani coninued: "I understand that technological solutions could find obstacles and may not be accepted by the system.
"But I think there is good reason to adopt the goalline officials which UEFA does in the Champions League."
It's not just Milan who have been complaining this season, Juventus have spent much of the campaign moaning that they don't get enough penalties.
But Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has an interesting take on that, particularly after his side conceded three penalties in Sunday's freak 5-4 win over Genoa.
He says the more success teams get, the more the complain.
"It speaks for itself, it must be a record for a team to concede three penalties at home, two of which were a bit strange," he said about the Genoa game.
"As for others making more noise, they are more ambitious than us, they're fighting for the title and every point is important.
"Plus, maybe we're used to it (getting bad decisions)."