Italian Football Chiefs Respond To UEFA, FIFA & Sepp Blatter Over Serbia Trouble

Giancarlo Abete & Gianni Petrucci have defended Italy's stadiums from governing bodies' scrutiny.
President of the FIGC (Italian FA) Giancarlo Abete and chief of the CONI Gianni Petrucci have responded to Sepp Blatter and UEFA over the Italy - Serbia consternation.

Blatter said Italy had plenty to learn from and made comparisons between Italian stadia and those in the Premier League, suggesting the trouble would not have happened if venues were based on the English model.

UEFA added to the already mounting tension as conflict brewed between the authorities with fingers being pointed, and questions asked. The European football governing body suggested Italy could face sanctions for failing to prevent the instability.

But both Abete and Petrucci have responded strongly.

"I expected a reflection on the referee at World Cup 2002 from Blatter," Abete told the press, referring to the Byron Moreno farce.

"That would have been better, seeing that it determined a heavy trauma."

Petrucci took a different line though, leading a staunch defence of Italian efforts.

"These things go beyond logic and human civilisation. I want to thank the government and the police for what they did," he said.

"It's easy to criticise, but the police forces intervened based on their experience.

"Penalties from UEFA? We will think about this after. I hope not, because I don't understand the responsibility of the FIGC."

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