Former Serie A referee Paolo Casarin felt that Michael Fabbri was correct not to award Inter a penalty in their 1-0 win over Hellas Verona yesterday.
The Nerazzurri felt aggrieved that a spot-kick was not awarded when a Henrikh Mkhitaryan shot came off the arm of Verona defender Isak Hien, but the Swede was deemed to have brought his arm back towards his body and VAR did not suggest overturning the decision.
In a column published in today’s newspaper edition of Corriere della Sera, the veteran official argued that penalties for accidental handballs were ruining football, and efforts to reduce the amount given for such instances was a step in the right direction.
“The acceptance of involuntary actions has reappeared and this is fortunate for the game of football,” Casarin, who served as a referee from 1958 until 1988, claimed.
“Inter vs Verona, refereed by Fabbri, starts with a goal from Lautaro Martinez. But also in the Veronese penalty area a touch of the arm by a defender is judged by the VAR not to be punishable.”
Casarin also argued that Fabbri had enjoyed a good performance and was right to disallow a second Martinez goal, after the striker was judged to have fouled Verona’s Pawel Dawidowicz.
“The disallowing of a goal by Lautaro was preceded by a foul by the same player, Fabbri did well to see it. He whistled everything he saw,” he added.
Having been appointed as an international referee in 1979, Casarin took charge of matches at the 1982 World Cup and at Euro 1988, whilst he officiated the 1985 Cup Winners’ Cup Final between Everton and Rapid Wien.