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Furious Aurelio De Laurentiis lights up referees and UEFA over offside goal

Napoli's owner pulled no punches in a post-game tirade after Dnipro were given an away goal that was clearly offside.

Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Let's get this out of the way first: Napoli got screwed by the referees in that match. The decision to allow Dnipro's goal to stand despite both involved players each being at least a full stride offside is absolutely terrible. You know who agrees? Aurelio De Laurentiis. You know who has a big ol' platform to scream from, and absolutely no filter when he gets mad?

Yep. Aurelio De Laurentiis.

"I am absolutely furious," De Laurentiis raged to the press after the match. "It was offside. In the semi-final you cannot appoint a six-pack of officials who are incapable of handling a game. I saw Nicola Rizzoli in the Champions League yesterday, while we got [Svein] Moen. Who is he, have you ever heard of him? Is he important? Is he even qualified?"

The Norwegian referee and his crew would have to be qualified to be given the responsibility to officiate this match, but after such a poor decision was allowed to stand, you'd have to wonder if UEFA president Michel Platini and his cohorts would allow them to oversee a match of such importance again. Or maybe that was the point of having them there, if you ask De Laurentiis.

If Dnipro have the referee on their side... it means Napoli are irritating to some and that the Europa League must go to Spain and Sevilla again.

Just say that’s what you want and we’ll step aside, as we don’t like being taken for a ride. If Platini wants to govern, he is welcome, but he must do it with the wisdom of a monarch.

He can’t bring out these doubts. In the semi-final you cannot appoint a six-pack of officials who are incapable of handling a game. Platini made a disastrous impression. He’ll think about it in the dark of his room in Nyon.

Perhaps he’s had his day, perhaps it’s best if he leaves. If someone has to organise a competition without being able to guarantee a decent referee, then it’s unacceptable.

-Source: Football Italia

Let's recap: De Laurentiis feels that the fix is in, and that Platini is using his power as the head of UEFA to guarantee Sevilla win another Europa League title because he and his cronies don't like Napoli. That's, uh... wow. That's really something.

Hopefully there's no backlash from this, though there's a very real chance that Napoli could suffer a reprisal from the refereeing crew chosen for the second leg. Referees don't like implications that they or their brethren have been involved in a fix, and tend not to look kindly on those throwing around such accusations.

Sure would be nice if football had replay though. Would have come in handy today.