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Juve Wins as 'Soccer Dies' and Calciopoli Reappears

  • Guardian, Tuesday, October 30, 2012 1:10 PM

Juventus beat Catania 1-0 in extremely controversial circumstances on Sunday, prompting Catania President Antonio Pulvirenti to declare: "Today we witnessed the death of soccer," as he said that a goal scored by Catania in the first half “was disallowed by the Juventus bench,” not the referees, for offside.

Initially, referee Andrea Gervasoni had signaled a goal when Gonzalo Bergessio tapped in his own rebound, and the linesman, Lucca Maggiani, had also kept his flag down. However, as Gervasoni walked back toward the center circle, Maggiani called him back. Apparently, the pair had been conversing with the game official behind the goal via their headsets, and decided to change the call to offiside. However, to everyone in the stadium, it looked as if the Juventus bench, which had also surrounded both officials, prompted the change. In any event, replays showed it to be a perfectly good goal.

To make matters worse, Maggiani got another crucial decision wrong in the second half, awarding Juventus a goal when Niklas Bendtner, whose shot was parried into the path of eventual scorer Arturo Vidal, was clearly offside.

After the game, La Repubblica writer Emilio Marrese joked that Italy was returning to a time when “referees help out Juve," referring to the Calciopoli scandal of 2006, for which several Serie A club officials and referees were dealt harsh penalties for attempting to influence the outcome of matches. 

Read the whole story at Guardian »

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