Referee Gianluca Rocchi has hit back at critics, explaining it is “hurtful to hear people say we are not in good faith.”
The officials were lambasted over the past couple of weeks, particularly by Inter, as President Massimo Moratti declared he no longer believed they were making errors in good faith.
“It is really hurtful to hear people say the referees are not in good faith,” Rocchi told Sky Sport Italia.
“It is absurd to think we make mistakes because of something that goes beyond a simple error. The referee steps on to the field to do his best, hoping he won’t end up favouring either of the two teams.”
Rocchi officiated Milan-Napoli on Sunday night and flashed a straight red card at Mathieu Flamini for a two-footed tackle on Juan Camilo Zuniga, but the Frenchman received only a one-match ban.
“He apologised to everyone, even to the referees. He didn’t want to hurt the player, but it was a very clumsy challenge.”