Napoli director: “We were penalised beyond measure by referee and VAR”


Napoli director Mauro Meluso  spoke after their 3-0 loss to Inter, saying they were ‘penalised beyond measure by referee and VAR.’ A number of controversial incidents were highlighted during the match, including a potential non-penalty for Victor Osimhen and a foul in the buildup to one of Inter’s goals. Speaking with DAZN after the match, Meluso explained that he chose to do the post-match to avoid coach Walter Mazzarri incurring a ban for what he planned to say:

“Mazzarri preferred not to come also because we prefer him to be on the bench, so to avoid maybe statements that could create some problems. We are really very unhappy, it’s a  mortifying loss that we don’t deserve and above all our fans don’t deserve it either, because we believe that the referee Massa and probably also the VAR had a bad day. It can happen to anyone, so I think it was a bad day for the referee because the first goal gave us a psychological blow and it was heavily influenced, not to say that it was definitely fouled, by a foul on Lobotka that was evident and I think it deserved the referee’s intervention immediately, not to mention the VAR.

“The second incident that saw us penalised beyond measure was the penalty on Osimhen. I used to be a footballer, and when they take your Achilles tendon you go down, you lose co-ordination but you also lose your footing. And it’s clear that this is a foul, Osimhen also confirmed it to me just now, which should have been sanctioned’.

“We don’t do dietrology, we are not conspiracists and we don’t think there are other reasons than a bad day. But we also have to stress this for a simple reason, because losing in front of our fans like that is a shame for us and for them. So it’s not a justification, but certainly conceding the first goal created a negative psychological situation for us that strongly conditioned the match.”

“On the second one I saw a clear touch, a clear contact on the supporting foot. So it is clear that he loses his balance, otherwise he would have no reason to fall. We have VAR on purpose, precisely to correct any mistakes and inefficiencies of the referee. It is so obvious… Mind you, I don’t want to create alibis. We didn’t dislike the team, they gave their all and had many chances on goal. I’m not arguing in a senseless way, it’s because in my opinion we didn’t deserve it, we didn’t deserve to have this mortification today”.

“Such a penalty not given should at least have been reviewed on the monitor. Then he could also decide not to give it, but at least he would review it on the monitor. Beyond these things we will certainly have a technical discussion with Mazzarri, but unfortunately when you play against big teams like Inter, a disparity of this kind is decisive, unfortunately it is so. On the contrary in my opinion we would have had many recriminations’.

“Perhaps the regret is precisely this, of wanting to focus on these negative episodes. The team put its soul into it, playing an excellent game especially in the first half. With Mazzarri we are finding a balance that we had lost a bit before, without wanting to cast the cross on Garcia of course. So we are very sorry that we had this defeat, so heavy, precisely because we didn’t deserve it, because I think the values expressed were different from this 0-3. And I think Massa’s bad night had a big influence. He didn’t even referee badly, but in the top moments he could have done better.”


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