Furious De Laurentiis slams Platini for 'disastrous' refereeing

The Partenopei conceded a controversial late goal to Dnipro, sparking outrage from their president, who claimed that the Europa League is "worthless"
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has furiously slammed Uefa president Michel Platini after "disastrous" refereeing saw Dnipro secure a 1-1 draw at the San Paolo on Thursday.

Rafa Benitez's men had a slender lead in the Europa League semi-final first leg thanks to David Lopez's strike 50 minutes in, but Yevhen Seleznyov then stunned the Stadio San Paolo with a hugely controversial equaliser with 10 minutes left.

Seleznyov appeared to be in an offside position for the Ukrainian's crucial away goal, sparking an angry rant from the Napoli supremo, who condemned Uefa for not hiring a "decent referee" to preside over proceedings.

"I am absolutely furious," De Laurentiis told reporters. "It was offside. They want to claim importance to a tournament that is worthless.

"We just go through it because it gives us an opportunity to qualify for the Champions League.

"In the semi-final you cannot appoint six incapable officials. Platini made a disastrous impression here. I hope he's thinking about what he's done in a dark room in Uefa's Nyon headquarters.

"Perhaps he’s had his day, perhaps it’s best if he leaves. If someone has to organise a competition without being able to guarantee a decent referee, then it’s unacceptable.

"I cannot criticise my lads, because they gave their all, but if Dnipro have the referee on their side... It means Napoli are irritating to some and that the Europa League must go to Spain and Sevilla again.

"Just say that’s what you want and we’ll step aside, as we don’t like being taken for a ride. If Platini wants to govern, he is welcome, but he must do it with the wisdom of a king.

"He could’ve organised the refereeing better. I saw Nicola Rizzoli in the Champions League yesterday, while we got Svein Moen. Who is he, have you ever heard of him? Is he important? Is he even qualified?

"Dear Platini, pray that you improve. It won't help our coffers to go out of the Europa League, so I say sweet dreams, Platini."