The anti-Juventus conspiracy theorists got plenty of ammunition yesterday as two wrong decisions facilitated their 1-0 win at Catania. The second, with Bendtner just offside as his shot, parried by the Catania keeper, was netted by Vidal, was understandable. The first was a farce. Catania striker Berghessio was clearly onside when a shot came in that hit the post and was quickest to react when the ball ran loose. Referee Gervasoni and linesman Maggiani appeared to have given the goal. But then, with members of the Juventus bench seeming to join in, they conferred along with goal judge Rizzoli and after 45 seconds the goal was ruled out. Naturally this has been the main talking point of the weekend, and both Juventus and the referees' chiefs have had to admit that the goal was valid.
But what the incident highlights most of all is that the proliferation of officials that now control games in Serie A - remember, once there were three, now there are six - far from reducing the possibility of error is if anything increasing it and is certainly leading to confusion as well as detracting from the authority of the man who is in charge of the game, the referee in the middle.
The incident also shows how lacking in personality many referees are. I don't think that Gervasoni was in bad faith, because if he had been he would simply have blown for offside immediately. But both he and his linesman lacked the courage to follow their instincts which told them, rightly, that it was a goal.