Wednesday May 15 2019
Gasperini: 'Scandalous refereeing!'

Gian Piero Gasperini deemed the rejected penalty appeal in the Coppa Italia Final with Lazio “completely unacceptable. It shows no respect at all for Atalanta fans.”

The match ended 2-0 with late goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Joaquin Correa.

“These Finals are always on a knife edge and we had this big chance in the first half, hit the woodwork twice, but that’s the way it went and they scored first," the Coach told Rai Sport.

Gasperini’s mood changed when he was shown the moment that Marten de Roon’s shot was deflected off the hand of Bastos to hit the upright in the first half.

“I hadn’t seen that. This is very serious. That was going into the goal, it was clearly deflected. I didn’t like Luca Banti throughout the game, but this incident is absolutely worthy of a VAR review.

“This completely changes everything that had been done during the season in Serie A. It is very serious. It’s unjustifiable. It is unacceptable.

“We accept the defeat, Lazio are a very good team, it was a balanced game, but no this incident is absolutely unacceptable. I wasn’t angry before I saw that replay, as from the bench I absolutely didn’t see that.

“My players told me there was a hand, but I thought it was one of those handballs that saw some absurd penalties given during the season, but this was far worse. It’s very clear.

“Maybe we wouldn’t have won anyway, but it’s really ugly to see this. It’s ugly. This was a very balanced game decided late on and a penalty, not to mention Bastos was already on a yellow card before that, it changes the game.

“We played this Coppa Final with 21,000 fans following us. It shows no respect at all for the Atalanta supporters. We saw all season that penalties were given for absurd touches, but this is far worse than many that were awarded.

“If there hadn’t been VAR, then that’s understandable, but no, this is unjustifiable.”

Gasperini continued to vent his fury during the Press conference.

“It is a shocking incident and shameful to do this to Atalanta. This takes away credibility from VAR. It’s also a bad sign for Italian football. It’s incomprehensible, as of course the same clubs keep winning.

“Are we meant to only use VAR when it’s handy? It was a penalty and a red card. This is a scandal! Tell me why it happened? Give me some justification, if you can?

“It might not have been seen by the referee, and indeed I didn’t see it either, but the VAR? I want those officials in the booth to come here and explain to me what they saw!

“The only possible explanation is they had a blackout and couldn’t see the screen. Either that or they just closed their eyes and looked the other way.

“It changes the game! It would’ve been 11 against 10 just 25 minutes in with a penalty… You’re taking 21,000 people for a ride. You’re making fun of them!”

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