The end of the Derby D’Italia was...contentious to say the least. During Inter’s final attack of the match the team had a corner kick and everybody (goalkeeper included) went forward. In the ensuing corner kick referee Nicola Rizzoli called a foul in favor of Juventus, to the indignation of the Nerazzurri. The players protested this decision and Rizzoli showed Samir Handanovic a yellow card for his protests, then showed Ivan Perisic a straight red card for his.
After the final whistle Mauro Icardi also had some words with Rizzoli and then kicked the ball away in frustration. Today the punishments have been handed down. Perisic was given a two match ban for “repeatedly uttering gravely disrespectful expressions” aimed at Rizzoli. Icardi got the same punishment for “insulting expressions and accompanying gestures”. The captain also received a €10,000 fine for kicking the ball “in the direction of the referee, without hitting him”.
Now I’ve never seen a player receive a straight red card for talking back to the referee, but I talked to somebody a little more familiar with the guidelines referees follow and he told me something along the lines of the following. Referees have quite a bit of discretion when it comes to bookings for dissent. Usually when things cross the line a player will receive a yellow card, but on a few occasions a referee has shown a red card for truly reprehensible attacks (such as personal insults, racism, or threats towards the referee/his family).
Now referee reports aren’t available to the public so we’ll never officially know what Rizzoli heard or what he thought he heard but Inter are allowed to request the referee’s report and that is what the club did. They released a statement today saying they have asked to see the report and based on what is there (and presumably what Perisic and Icardi claim they said) the team will make a decision whether or not to appeal the bans. Also there’s a decent chance what’s written in the report will get leaked to the media at some point so maybe we’ll find out as well.
If the club opts not to appeal (or if the appeal fails) the two attackers will miss Inter’s matches against Empoli and Bologna, returning them for the vital match against AS Roma. Inter should be able to win those two games without Perisic and Icardi, and if there is one bright spot in all this it’s that hopefully we’ll see a lot more of Gabriel Barbosa over the next 180 minutes of Nerazzurri action (though it probably means we’ll see a lot more of Rodrigo Palacio).