After his team had to settle with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Dnipro in the first leg of their Europa League semis match, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis hits back on match officials and questioned their integrity.
“We were superior, but Dnipro had six referees on their side,” De Laurantiis said in an interview. “What am I supposed to think? That the match was fixed? That the cup has already been assigned to Sevilla? If they want to just tell us then we will step aside.”
De Laurantiis contested Dnipro striker Yevhen Selenyov’s late goal in the 77th minute that served as an equaliser to the goal made by Napoli’s Davide Lopez in the earlier minutes of the first half. The Azzurri president insisted that Selenyov was already offside when he made the shot. The replays seemed to support De Laurentiis’ claim, but the point was still awarded to the Warriors.
Napoli coach Rafael Benitez and and attacker Marek Hamsik also expressed their frustratio0n over the way the mathc was officiated. Benitez said that it was a really big mistake on their part, but added that they can’t really complain too much. On the other hand, Hamsik also insisted that the shot made by the opposing team was indeed offside.
The outspoken De Laurentiis also went on to hit on UEFA president Michael Platini. The Azzurri boss questioned Platini, accusing him of intentionally antagonizing Napoli and its supporters. He also questioned the latter’s credibility.
De Laurentiis also went on to reiterate his desire to establish a new European league, which he has been championing for some time now. “We want to compete in a place where there is competence,” he remarked. He also stressed that the officials of the current league are welcomed in the hypothetical new competition, but they have to “do it with the wisdom of a monarch.”