The decline of Italian referees

Anyone who has ever played a video game related to the sport recognizes this face.

Pierluigi Collina was voted the best referee in history at the end of the year. His impeccable professionalism propelled him to the top of a profession as far from the spotlight as it is focused on criticism. Since he hung up his boots, his successors in Calcio have failed to live up to the hype.

Even though the league has been trying to improve its image, Serie A is by far not the most attractive or competitive league. If it stands out for any element in particular, it is for its aggressiveness. To ensure that this does not tarnish the image of the competition or explore the limits of the rules, referees should lay down the law on the fields.

To my surprise, the opposite is true. After several matchdays in the boot-shaped country, I have witnessed the inefficiency and sloppiness of its referees.

They look like something out of a Marx Brothers movie, as their performances are worthy of the weekend comedies on TV.

The emergence of VAR, far from giving them a helping hand, seems to have robbed them of their decision-making. If your league is already boring in itself, do not prolong the suffering by stopping the game to think. Likewise, their physical prowess can only improve, given their slowness and clumsiness.

Winston Churchill once said that “Italians lose wars as if they were football matches and football matches as if they were wars”. I hope the referees will be one day at that competitive level.

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