1 March 2017
Italian Serie A side, Napoli were on Tuesday knocked out of the Coppa Italia by league leaders, Juventus, thanks to two debatable penalties.
Having seen the team exit the competition, Napoli director Cristiano Giuntoli reacted to the penalties, describing them as “shameful and damaging to all of Italian football”.
Napoli lost 3 – 1 at Juventus Stadium having gone ahead in the 36th minute through former Real Madrid man, Jose Callejon.
Napoli’s lead lasted till the second half, but on resumption of hostilities, Juventus drew level after Paulo Dybala scored from the penalty spot after the referee, Paolo Valeri, gave a penalty for a foul on Dybala by Kalidou Koulibaly.
Former Napoli man, Gonzalo Higuain fired Juve ahead in the 64th minute before the referee again awarded a second penalty to Juve after adjudging Napoli goalkeeper, Pepe Reina to have brought down substitute, Juan Cuadrado, in the box.
Dybala again stepped up to take the kick and struck the back of the net.
The two penalties left Giuntoli furious insisting that neither of the penalties should have been awarded to Juventus.
“We thought it important to publicly thank the lads for their performance and to say we emerge defeated by two decisions that were not debatable, but shameful and damaging to all of Italian football,” Giuntoli told Rai Sport.
“On the first penalty, Dybala knocks the ball on and seeks contact for the penalty. I thought the first one was frankly more of a spot-kick, but after watching the replay this one isn’t right either. The striker goes looking for the contact.”
Giuntoli was particularly upset with the second penalty, which was awarded less than a minute after Raul Albiol went down in the box at the other end, with Valeri unmoved.
“On the second Reina gets the ball, then he certainly cannot disappear and thus he contacts the player too,” the Napoli director said.
“What’s more, that happened after a penalty was not given to us, considering that two of them knocked down one of our players.
“The decisions were shameful.”