Pallotta furious at ‘ridiculous’ refereeing

James Pallotta (left) and Monchi (right)

ROME – Roma chairman James Pallotta voiced a strong call for VAR to be used after his side found themselves on the wrong end of some questionable, game-changing decisions. Roma were left to bemoan a narrow aggregate loss in a thrilling second-leg at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday as their fans were unable to relive the wild celebrations of the Barcelona comeback.

 Pallotta firstly congratulated Liverpool on qualification to the Champions League final, but lamented a sour ending to an outstanding campaign for his club. He added that the use of VAR in Europe’s elite competition is “absolutely essential” to support the difficult jobs of referees and to avoid these recurring high-profile gaffes.

 The chairman’s anger was echoed by the club’s sporting director, Monchi, who argued that “without the refereeing errors everything would have changed.”

 Monchi cited “two blatant penalties,” one of which also merited a sending off. Without these “crazy” decisions, the tie could have been turned on its head.

 Yet, it wasn’t just this game that triggered Monchi’s anger.

 With the correct decisions, the Champions League final could easily be contested between Bayern Munich and Roma. The German side were also robbed several times as the referee over the two legs failed to penalise Real Madrid for a series of fouls and handballs inside the box.

 Juventus’ run also came to a bitter ending in the quarter-finals after referee Michael Oliver awarded the Spanish giants a last-minute penalty and unjustly proceeded to show Gianluigi a red card.

 “I'm Spanish but I think Italian football has to raise its voice now because this is not normal,” Monchi said.