Rizzoli: Fabbri won't be dropped

Referees chief Nicola Rizzoli has insisted that Michael Fabbri will not be dropped by Serie A, while Mario Mandzukic was not ‘violent’ during Juventus-Milan.

Clubs and referees met at the Lega Serie A offices on Monday morning after a controversial weekend of Serie A action, with flashpoints in the match between Juve and Milan, plus Lazio’s 2-2 draw with Sassuolo. 

“Ninety percent of the errors we’ve identified come from penalty kicks and handball fouls,” Rizzoli told reporters.

“We’ve also explained what we do during referee meetings. More professionalism is needed and I don’t just mean the abilities of referees and VAR. We need to use our personnel more professionally.

“We didn’t talk about Week 31 in this meeting. No-one will be dropped. The people we employ must be fit and we must manage them. No ‘stops’ have been mentioned.

“As for the Lazio-Sassuolo decision, the defender’s arm didn’t move in an appropriate manner.

“It doesn’t matter if the ball first hit another part of the body. He paid for having his arm out.

“When an error is obvious, referees experience them and can improve by learning from them.

“Fabbri must grow, but he has great potential. Experience is crucial and it’s acquired through errors. I became more self-assured after making mistakes. You mature this way.”

Fabbri was particularly criticised for failing to spot Mandzukic kick out at Alessio Romagnoli and ignoring an Alex Sandro handball, despite video footage appearing to show otherwise.

“The VAR can intervene when there’s violence,” he explained.

“Had it been deemed necessary, the game would’ve stopped and a red card would’ve been shown.

“Handballs are certainly the most complex to analyse and explain. You must distinguish intention from voluntariness.

“If we talk about intention there are two things: when the defender is marking an area, we tend not to punish them.

“On the other hand, if a defender intends to create an obstacle then we tend to punish them.

“It’s written in the rule book that a player mustn’t increase the volume of their body.”

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