Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis slammed the officiating from referee’s this season: “The weakness of the referees this year speaks for itself.” The Partenopei lost the final 1-0 to Inter after going down to 10 men, but De Laurentiis still saw encouraging signs from his team. Speaking in the post-match, the Partenopei boss touched on his experiences in Saudi Arabia, the growth of football there and what he envisages for the future of football in the Middle East:
“We are in the middle of the transfer market, we have already made three signings of which one is playing, two came here in the last two days and therefore were not usable. Another two are incoming, so it is a Napoli still in the making.
“Credit where credit is due to those who win , because you should never give in to those who win, football is also randomness. But I must say that I saw a growing Napoli side, because despite there being 10 men left, all the absences and how I’ve already said a Napoli in the making, I saw a Napoli that gave a hard time to an Inter that seemed to me to be quite imprecise . Then when the ball goes into the net it goes into the net and one can’t complain about anything . ”
“At the beginning, 4-5 months ago, I also opposed this Super Cup , because for me the fans deserve above all to celebrate the national championship. And when you play too much further competitions can be added, even outside Italy, so there was also a due complaint from the fans of all four teams.
“I believe that from next year , with the increase in matches that UEFA has already imposed in all European competitions, this Super Cup should no longer have any reason to exist . I was saying that what struck me very much is having discovered a country, Arabia, with extraordinary, very powerful growth, which we will not see over the years, but over the months . And therefore this extraordinary democratization of a country that we thought was closed in on itself and instead is very open and which will become, wars permitting, the centrality of the new explosive world of incredible commercialism ” .
“They are formidable, for example I saw an incredible place that clouds Disneyland. They have 100,000 cranes standing to build a new country, a new era, which will give everyone a hard time. After all, football here is a bit of decoy just to relaunch the country and act as an attraction. They are very clever and intelligent, after all they are Arabs, because they use football as if it were a kind of superspot to attract . In 2030 there will be the famous ones players here for the championships, so there will be even more promotion and advertising. But we won’t have to wait until 2030, because in my opinion, as I said, 6 months in 6 months, from Riyadh to Jeddah they will build the unbelievable . ”
“Refereeing? I feel sorry for Rocchi, because he is living a kind of nightmare. The weakness of the referees this year , not towards Napoli, but towards all the teams, speaks for itself . In fact I felt sorry for Rocchi , with whom I spoke this evening before the match, because I was saying who knows what further embarrassment poor Rocchi will feel at this moment. When there is a competition, as much as it must remain such, it is also a celebration. We are in Saudi Arabia, just as they use us to promote themselves, we had to promote ourselves in the name of spectacular football and if you reduce me to 10, football doesn’t become more spectacular.”
“Then maybe I’m wrong in not making the substitutions in time, but here there is another troubled problem, which is that unfortunately the League doesn’t work in Italy . The regulations have also changed, so all the warnings, all the various expulsions, we pay for them in the championship. So this Super Cup, which counts for very little, actually ends up influencing the possible progress of a championship , think of how many distortions. The League, which is the association of football companies, is the enemy of the businesses themselves” .