Europeans have been complaining about the standard of Italian football in recent years, with Parma in dire financial crisis and Italian teams failing to make any real impact in European competitions in recent years but Monday’s show of total disrespect for the rules of the game may have just confirmed what everyone feared; Italian football is all but dead.
Fiorentina and AC Milan were playing out an entertaining match as the game was poised at 1-1, the match referee could not continue for some unexplained reason. As the ball went out of play, the fourth official started to get ready to enter the field of play but the players obviously could not wait. The players of both clubs carried on playing the match for over a minute without any official on the pitch before the official came on. Fiorentina won the match 2-1 but what we remember is how a professional match became a street contest for almost two minutes.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78Oeuxl9gxA
In contrast, when Mike Dean had to come off with a calf injury in Chelsea’s premier league clash with Southampton, the fourth official warmed up, got ready and the players waited for him to get ready before he came on to the field.