Tuesday June 24 2014
Prandelli: 'Ref ruined the game'

Cesare Prandelli said the referee “ruined the game,” criticised Mario Balotelli and confessed his Italy future is in doubt.

The 1-0 defeat to Uruguay proved decisive for the Azzurri, who played the final half-hour with 10 men after Claudio Marchisio was harshly sent off.

“It didn’t seem like a red card offence. There were some tough tackles, but not worthy of a red card. It was a very balanced game, Uruguay never really had a shot on goal despite needing to win,” Prandelli told Sky Sport Italia.

“It was a good match tactically and in my view the referee ruined it. He cannot give a red card in that situation, he just can’t.

“We got the game with Costa Rica wrong and fought hard with Uruguay against two of the best strikers in the world, though they never caused us problems.

“It’s a great shame that we go out in these circumstances.”

Prandelli substituted Balotelli at half-time, as he had already been booked and seemed irritable.

“Balotelli can never understand when he’s calm and stressed. He needed to guarantee balance, but I replaced him because I was afraid we’d end up with 10 men.”

Prandelli agreed a two-year contract renewal with the Federation before the tournament, but confessed this early exit could change his plans.

“You work four years and then one red card can change everything. Now we’ll reflect on the situation and let you know.”