AS Roma president James Pallotta has criticized the officiating after being knocked out by Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final and said it will be an “absolute joke” if video assistant referees (VAR) are not introduced in the competition.
Roma won the second leg 4-2 at Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday but it was Liverpool who advanced 7-6 on aggregate, and Pallotta believes a number of decisions went against his team.
“I know it is difficult to ref but it is really embarrassing that we lose on aggregate like that,” he told reporters. “You just can’t let stuff like this happen.” Pallotta felt Roma should have been awarded two penalties in the second leg.
Edin Dzeko was brought down by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius just after the interval but the striker was ruled offside. Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold appeared to handle the ball in the box from a Stephan El Shaarawy shot but the incident was missed by the officials.
“You can all look at it yourself. In the 49th minute he wasn’t offside and he gets taken down by the goalie,” Pallotta said. “It was a handball that was obvious to everyone probably in the world except people on the pitch. It should have been a red card which would have been 10 men in the 63rd minute.
“If they don’t get VAR in the Champions League, it is an absolute joke.”