Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni believes the controversial extra-time sending off of Francesco Totti cost his team a place in the World Cup quarter-finals.
“Everyone saw the match,” he said. “We were penalised. I don’t understand why my player was expelled.”
Totti was adjudged to have dived in the boxby Ecuadorian referee Byron Moreno under the challenge of Song Chong-Gug. Moreno issued Totti with a yelllow card, his second of the match, thus forcing Italy to play the remainder of the match with ten players.
I cried with anger in the dressing room,” he raged. “They talk about fair play in football and this is the outcome.I just cannot believe it.
“Everybody has seen the way the referee did his job. I don’t know anything about plots against us, but we have certainly suffered from a lot of mistakes.
“Really, in my long experience, I have ever seen so many mistakes as the referees have made in our last three games.
“We had more chances than South Korea and I think we deserved to win. They had a couple of lucky chances and scored, and hardly had a shot on goal otherwise.
“TV operators told me that the supposed offside of Damiano Tommasi was non-existent, and that should have been a goal. We could also have finished the game off with those chances from Gennaro Gattuso and Christian Vieri at the end, but that’s football. Italy should be in the World Cup quarter-finals.”