Sunday May 3 2020
Pecoraro: 'Inter-Juve VAR file missing'

The former FIGC prosecutor Giuseppe Pecoraro reveals the VAR audio from a controversial Inter-Juventus incident in 2018 went missing. ‘We need more transparency.’

This was a decisive match in the 2017-18 Scudetto race, with Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli watching on as Juve came from behind to beat Inter 3-2 at San Siro on April 28, 2018.

Most would agree Miralem Pjanic was extremely fortunate not to receive a second yellow card for his foul on Rafinha, especially as Matias Vecino had already been shown a straight red.

FIGC prosecutor Pecoraro spoke to Il Mattino newspaper and revealed some anomalies when he attempted to investigate.

“It was Daniele Orsato’s officiating of Inter-Juventus that brought me to have tension with the referees,” said Pecoraro, who resigned his post in December 2019.

“I had received complaints about his performance from various associations and groups of fans. I did not think we’d find anything untoward, but to be on the safe side, tried to open an investigation.

“I asked the AIA (Italian Referees’ Association) and then the Lega Serie A, just to be sure, to listen to the audio-video dialogue between the VAR and referee in that game.

“I had to insist, otherwise what kind of a federal prosecutor am I? They only gave the files to us at the start of the next season, but there was a surprise in store…

“We opened up the file and the only bit that hadn’t been recorded was the only one we were interested in: that between Orsato and the VAR when Pjanic was not sent off.

“The reason? They told me it wasn’t there and that’s all there was to it. We need more transparency.”

Juventus went on to pip Napoli to the Scudetto that season.

However, former referee Luca Marelli has pointed out the reason there is no intervention from the VAR is that it's simply not protocol to intervene for a booking, even if that is a second bookable offence.

So while the Pjanic foul should've been sanctioned with a yellow card, that is not something VAR is allowed to intervene on.

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