Mehdi Benatia gave some insight into the chaotic non-penalty in Sassuolo-Roma. “You can’t ask a desperate player if he was fouled.”
The incident occurred during the first half of today’s early kick-off at the Mapei Stadium.
Benatia went to challenge Nicola Sansone and the Sassuolo striker fell. At first Nicola Rizzoli had not awarded the penalty, then did so on advice from the goal-line assistant, but after several minutes of debate he changed his mind again.
“In my view, the referee didn’t want to give the penalty and the official behind the line called him over, but they didn’t understand each other,” Benatia told Sky Sport Italia at half-time.
“Then he asked Sansone to tell the truth, but we were all angry, because you can’t ask a player who is desperate for points to avoid relegation if he was fouled or not.
“He said: ‘I slipped, but Benatia pulled my shirt.’ So the referee said ‘In that case, no it’s not a penalty.’ Thankfully it all went the right way in the end.”