Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has expressed his anger at comments made by Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis, over the decision to appoint referee Paolo Mazzoleni in charge of the Neapolitans’ crucial clash against Inter.
De Laurentiis reportedly accused Mazzoleni of lacking partiality in previous matches involving the Partenopei, and implied that the officials in Serie A tend to favour the Azzurri’s rivals.
Speaking after the Bianconeri’s 2-2 draw with the Bergamo outfit, Allegri responded to De Laurentiis’ comments, suggesting that he was tired of the constant claims and insisted that Italian football was suffering as a result of alleged theories of refereeing bias.
As quoted by Football Italia, Allegri said: “I could make a scene but that would be wrong, in Italy anything and everything goes and we never learn. On Saturday we won a game and didn’t say anything, in a game which remained balanced for what reason? You tell me…
“Because we won on Saturday we don’t let things get out of hand. But my patience is running out, in Italy we can’t improve with the example set by certain people.”
Berat Djimsiti’s own goal had put Juve in front, but a brace from Duván Zapata either side of Rodrigo Bentancur’s dismissal had given La Dea the lead, before substitute Cristiano Ronaldo levelled the scores.
Despite his irritation, Allegri insisted his side played well against Atalanta and could have doubled their lead earlier, claiming his side had claimed a ‘good point’ against difficult opposition considering they were reduced to ten men.
“My patience has run out, but it’s better to talk about the game – I’m not in a good mood,” he added, “The team played a good first half, they scored a goal with the one chance they had. We knew this match was difficult, and we could even have doubled our lead at 1-0.
“In the second half we were a man down but we recovered and could even have won, so in the end it’s a good point against a great side.”
Allegri’s side were reduced to ten men in the 53rd minute, after the already-booked Bentancur received a second yellow card for a late challenge – the Italian admitting that referee Luca Banti came to the correct decision.
“I don’t talk about referees, Banti officiated well and these things happen. Outside we hear heavy statements from club owners about referees – speaking and moralising and then doing that.”
Despite accepting the decision, Allegri was still visibly annoyed with the officials, but he insisted that De Laurentiis’ comments had contributed to his reaction.
“Today I apologise to the fourth official and I’m disappointed in myself. But then you hear certain things, crying over incidents…I’m sorry for Italian football, there’s no desire to improve Italian football. There was a beautiful setting today, but we always need to talk about other things.”