Monday March 17 2014
‘Referees are handling wars’

The President of the Italian Referees Association says he does not have the power to push through change in the way video technology is used.

Referees around the peninsula have come under heavy fire recently for poor decision making as well as missing incidents of violent conduct.

“It is not that I am in favour or against it,” Marcello Nicchi told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I report the feelings and regulations that are present throughout.

We do not have the power to change the rules, the referees are not the ones that introduce regulations, but apply them.

“Changing the rules is only down to the International Football Association Board [IFAB].

“Having said that, I will not speak of video assistance.

“If you use it for violent play, it is applied and then you get a complaint against its application.”

Nicchi then added that he did not feel players were helping referees.

“Today it seems that the referees have to handle a war every Sunday,” he said.

“So far this season there have been 1467 bookings in Serie A alone and 97 sendings-off.

“There are players you have to give a talking to twice in 30 seconds but there is no League, Coach or association who says ‘let’s give ourselves a template.’

“It really is a drama. There is no improvement in behaviour in general between young players and senior ones.”

Finally, the referee chief answered answered critics who have called for him to resign from his position.

“I don’t need to respond to anyone, neither do I need to listen to their opinions.

“I respect the opinions of others as long as they respect mine.

“I will remain in my post for as long as the governing bodies want me and people continue to elect me.”