AIA President: Positive start to the year, ignoring controversies

Carlo Pacifici, the president of the Italian Referees Association (Associazione Italiana Arbitri, AIA) has expressed his thoughts on the recent controversial refereeing incidents in Serie A. In his interview with Radio Gr Parlamento, he approached the topic with a sense of balanced perspective.

“Just like football players, referees make mistakes too,” Pacifici remarked, underlining the human element in the game. He addressed the growing debate about the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system which has seen a variety of viewpoints, each interpreting incidents in a match differently. “Now, we’ve all become VAR experts and everyone feels confident enough to judge an incident,” he said.

Having highlighted the critical role of technology in aiding referees, he concedes that the VAR, being a relatively recent innovation, could be used more effectively. Despite its teething issues, he believes it is an important tool to minimise errors.

Drawing on the data available, he pointed out that the number of errors has notably diminished in recent years compared to the pre-VAR era, an endorsement for the technological aid in his viewpoint.

Regarding the scrutiny over Fabbri and Nasca’s refereeing performances, Pacifici confirmed that there would be a thorough review of their decisions. He emphasised that no blame game is on the cards. “There’s no need to point fingers at anyone. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a positive start, I don’t follow controversies,” he stated.

Pacifici also showed high confidence in Rocchi amidst the significant generational shift in Italian refereeing. He, however, expressed reservations about the idea of referees speaking after games, fearing it could intensify controversies.

“We need to think this through carefully because instead of resolving issues, the problems may escalate,” Pacifici cautioned, acknowledging the potential pitfalls of the proposal.

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