Italian referee designator Nicola Rizzoli has moved to explain why audio of an incident from a Derby D’Italia match between Inter and Juventus a few years back does not and never did exist.

In the past few days former federal prosecutor Giuseppe ‘Beppe’ Pecoraro created a great deal of controversy when he revealed that there was no record of a conversation between the referee and VAR officials from an incident which saw Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic escape an obvious second booking after smashing Inter midfielfer Rafinha with his arm.

“It’s important to clarify here and not create further confusion,” Rizzoli began an interview with Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia.

“The protocol states that only certain conversations are recorded and those are made not by the referees, but by the Lega technical provider, who put this clip at the disposal of the AIA if they want to use it for instructional purposes.”

He went on to explain that, “Only five or six of those per game go online, which we can then download for use in teaching referees about incidents. These clips are also sent to the IFAB and are not in possession of the AIA.”

He then went on to reveal that what Pecoraro requested simply does not exist hence why it could not be provided.

“Pecoraro requested the recording of the entire match, but that simply doesn’t exist for any Serie A game. Nobody has it in their possession, it never existed and so could not have been provided.

“The only ones that were recorded, as per protocol, were around the straight red card and the penalty. A yellow card, whether it is a second or a first, is not recorded for VAR. We tried to request the recording, but it simply was never made in the first place.”

Rizzoli then went on to run through the VAR protocol again just to make things clear and confirmed that VAR could not say that it was a yellow card.

“In dubious situations, the VAR will communicate with the referee and say ‘stop play’ until they’ve checked it.

“The moment VAR then says ‘silent check complete, you can resume,’ there is nothing more to be said. In this case, he didn’t need to say whether it was a yellow card, VAR could only state it was not a straight red.

Rizzoli, who refereed between 2002 and 2017, concluded the interview by adding: “In any case, going back to that incident, the correct decision was not made by the referee. That was confirmed by the fact the referee was not designated in the following week.”