Napoli chief launches scathing attack on referees after VAR controversy

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has launched an extraordinary attack on the standard of refereeing in Serie A following a controversial 2-2 draw with Atalanta.

Napoli were winning 2-1 until the 86th minute, when Atalanta’s Josip Ilicic scored on a counter attack.

However, prior to the goal it had appeared Fernando Llorente was fouled in the Atalanta box by Simon Kjaer, and Napoli were convinced they should have a penalty and Atalanta’s goal should be disallowed.

A VAR review took around five minutes to complete, and the decision was not overturned, leading to a furious reaction from Ancelotti and his assistant coach, who were both sent off.

Carlo Ancelotti was livid with the decision to not give his side a penalty

After the match De Laurentiis was visibly furious in an interview with Sky Sport Italia.

“If there is VAR it’s pointless creating eight minutes of additional time because all that happens is pushing and shouting,” he said.

“And what is this buffoonery from the referee who kicks out a gentleman like Ancelotti? We’re fed up. Without us the referees would be peeling potatoes. We’re tired of paying for this standard of officiating.”

Ancelotti also spoke out after the game and said “I consider what happened an attack on my professionalism, my players and my club.

It was a dramatic end to the Serie A fixture

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“This evening for the first time I prefer to speak little, I feel offended in my seriousness and I am disappointed.”

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The result leaves Napoli in sixth place in the table, eight points off current league leaders Juventus , while Atalanta remain third, five points off the top.

Both sides return to Champions League action next week, with Napoli hosting Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday and Atalanta at home to Manchester City on Wednesday.


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