Debate is raging over whether Atalanta are right to fine Guglielmo Stendardo for missing a game so he could sit a law exam.
The veteran defender had been called up for Tuesday’s Coppa Italia trip to Roma, but pulled out, insisting he needed to complete his studies.
“Guglielmo only told us about the exam last Thursday. If he had asked for time off earlier, we could’ve organised something,” explained Coach Stefano Colantuono.
“It’s a shame, as he is an important player for us, but there are rules and they are valid for everyone in the locker room. He made his choice and must take responsibility for it.”
Atalanta director general Pierpaolo Marino gave his view on the situation.
“There will be probably be sanctions due to the rules of the locker room, as you need to ask the Coach for time off. Stendardo had already told me about the exam a month ago, but I told him to bring the matter to Colantuono.”
CONI President Gianni Petrucci and Players’ Association President Damiano Tommasi have come out in favour of Stendardo.
“Football takes itself too seriously,” said Petrucci. “When faced with an official exam to become a lawyer, how can you say there’s a contract to be respected? Where is the common sense? He was only exercising his rights.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition  - £10,000 to be won!