A group of Lazio fans on Wednesday began legal action against the referee and video assistant who oversaw their side’s controversial loss to Serie A rivals Torino.
Lawyers Studio Previti acting on behalf of the aggrieved group said a “proposal for an amicable agreement, the first step before a court summons” had been sent to referee Piero Giacomelli and video assistant Marco Di Bello.
Lazio were beaten 3-1 by Torino in Rome on December 11 after some controversial refereeing decisions including the sending off of their top striker Ciro Immobile.
Tempers flared after Giacomelli waved on play despite a blatant handball by Torino’s Iago Falque in the penalty area.
A furious Immobile, angered at Lazio not being awarded a penalty, jerked his head towards Torino defender Nicolas Burdisso in a face-to-face between the rivals.
Immobile received a red card after the referee consulted the video assistant referee, but Giacomelli did not consult VAR for the earlier handball call.
Serie A referee Piero Giacomelli under investigation for having a hidden facebook page with the name “Jack O’Melly” (you can’t make this stuff up) bearing the profile picture of Totti shooting a penalty. Oh, he’s also the guy from that shockingly officiated Torino-Lazio game…
— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) December 20, 2017
The decision provoked anger within Lazio from club president Claudio Lotito to coach Simone Inzaghi, and fans.
According to the law firm, “the accusation against the two officials is one of serious professional responsibility for not having seen and sanctioned with the VAR Iago Falque’s handball”.
Because of this breach in responsibility, the law firm believes that compensation should be paid “to each fan … deprived of his right to live his sporting passion”.
Introduced this season in Serie A, the VAR can only be used in four situations – after a goal scored, a penalty situation, for a direct red card or to correct a mistaken identity of a player sanctioned.
Former Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky has announced his immediate retirement from professional football.
The 37-year-old had been playing for Sparta Prague but the club revealed on Wednesday that he has decided to hang up his boots during the winter break.
Rosicky, who struggled with injuries towards the end of his 10-year stay at Arsenal, said he felt he was no longer in a position to offer his best to Sparta – the club where he started his career in 1998.
“After careful consideration I have realised I am no longer able to fully prepare my body for what the professional football requires,” he told the club’s official website.
“I would like to thank Sparta for raising me, for being the first step in my career in big clubs, and for allowing me to say goodbye at the place I love the most.”
Rosicky left the Czech Republic in 2001 when he moved to Borussia Dortmund, establishing himself in the side before Arsenal came calling.
Under manager Arsene Wenger he won two FA Cups during his time at the Emirates Stadium, becoming a firm fan favourite in the process.
🔛 246 appearances
⚽ 28 goals
🏆 2 FA Cups
🔴 1 Arsenal icon
❤️ We love you, Tomas pic.twitter.com/PB7yVQKYVe
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) December 20, 2017
He received a guard of honour from his team-mates after the 4-0 victory over Aston Villa on the final day of the 2015-16 Premier League season – many of them sporting names with his shirt emblazoned on the reverse.
Injuries and increased competition saw Rosicky depart and return to his boyhood club, only for injury to strike on his second debut – ruling him out for the entire season.
Capped 105 times by the Czech Republic, Rosicky has now retired as Sparta sit fifth in the HET Liga table with their next fixture not until February 17.
Real Madrid and FC Barcelona go head-to-head on Saturday (kick-off time 16:00), as Zinedine Zidane’s side look to close the gap on their biggest rivals in La Liga.
Known as El Clasico, the clash between La Liga’s two most famous clubs attracts worldwide attention – and that will be no different when the two meet in their final games before the winter break in Spain.