Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Buffon Wrong to Hurl Abuse at Referee, Says del Piero

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Buffon Wrong to Hurl Abuse at Referee, Says del Piero

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Football Correspondent

GIANLUIGI BUFFON has been condemned by fellow Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero for claiming that the Premier League referee Michael Oliver had "a rubbish bin for a heart".

Buffon was shown the red card by Oliver for barging into him and screaming in his face after Real Madrid were awarded the injury-time penalty that took them into the Champions League semi-finals at the expense of Juventus.

Buffon launched a remarkable attack on Oliver after Medhi Benatia was ruled to have fouled Lucas Vazquez and Cristiano Ronaldo converted from the spot, sending Madrid through 4-3 on aggregate even though they lost 3-1 on the night.

As well as his "rubbish bin" comment, the Italy goalkeeper also said: "If you can't understand what's going on in the game, you should sit in the stands with your family, eat chips, drink Coca-Cola and watch the game." Standard Sport has asked referees' chief Mike Riley for his thoughts but he had not commented by the time of publication.

Buffon's team-mate Giorgio Chiellini was similarly explicit, appearing to make a gesture towards Madrid defender Raphael Varane that he believed the Spanish champions had secured their progress by corrupt means. "You pay," he seems to say, in English. Chiellini could face punishment from UEFA for his actions. Del Piero, who won the 2006 World Cup with Italy alongside Buffon, said: "When [Buffon] spoke about the referee, I struggled to understand him. I believe that in a few days he will say different things about the referee from what he said last night."

Juventus complained that in the first leg, which they lost 3-0 in Turin, they were denied a clear penalty when Juan Cuadrado fell in the area late on. But as Oliver was not the referee that night Turkish official Cuneyt Cakir was in charge Del Piero was puzzled by his former team-mates' arguments. …

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