Monday February 10 2014
‘TV replays would end Calcio’

President of the Italian Football Referees’ Association Marcello Nicchi is very much against introducing television replays into Italian football.

On from successive weekends that have seen contentious decisions in Serie A, discussion has once more arisen of the possibility of television replays being introduced to aid referees in difficult calls.

However, the head of the Referees’ Association sees the suggestion as more of a hindrance.

“On replays, I have a very clear idea - if tomorrow they were to come in, then we can begin to say that this sport is over,” Nicchi has commented on Radio Rai today.

“The task to enforce the rules is ours, but on the introduction of technology on to the field, more than a few questions arise.

“If we want to change football, give it another name. If you stop the game, how do you restart it? And then, in any case, TV images do not always resolve issues, or clarify misunderstandings.

“Who is responsible for the final decision on the incident? The referee? Or whoever works the device?

“Under what circumstances will replays intervene? When you stop the game? When the referee deems it necessary or when the ball goes out? And what if there is a fast counter-attack and a goal? We nullify everything and go back?

“Football is not owned by anyone, and if you want to change it, let’s change the name, tell the fans that they are going to see an electronic game and that they can follow it safely from home.”

Nicchi was also asked about the disappearing paint referees will have during the World Cup this summer to mark out the position of a wall from a free-kick.

“It is useless. I believe it is nonsense. It is part of a show, let them do it.”

Nicchi also had his say on the current representation of foreigners in Serie A.

“Today I do not enjoy football and it is not what I am most passionate about. There are too many foreigners in the field, they do not understand the culture, nor the history - there are players you have never heard about and we find them in Serie A.

“We have to transmit to them the culture and respect for the rules that perhaps in their countries are applied more lightly.”