World Cup 2002 news
 05/03/05 02:45 EST

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Italian attitude criticised by FIFA

After complaining themselves about poor refereeing, Italy have been criticised by FIFA for their behaviour after they were knocked out of the tournament in the shock defeat to hosts South Korea.

The Italians refused to talk to the media and it is claimed that they failed to cooperate with FIFA official to an acceptable standard.

FIFA spokesman Keith Cooper said:

'I do know that cooperation with the Italian team after last night's match was extremely difficult. We understand that to a large degree. The disappointment of elimination is always huge.'

'Having said that, we do regard the professional as having a sense of obligation towards the media.'

'By refusing to talk to the media, they are refusing to talk to the fans, which is very regrettable.'

Cooper has also said that he believes the overall standard of officiating during the tournament has been very high, a claim that is repeated by other independent observers.

However, the Italian's were very unlucky over the course of the tournament. They had five goals ruled out for offside, one of them a golden goal in the South Korea match that replays showed to be legal.

Claims of poor penalty decisions may fall on deaf ears outside of Italy, however, as FIFA's clamp down on shirt pulling has been a welcome feature of the tournament so far. With modern referees giving penalties for holding offences, traditional Italian defending may just have become a historical tactic.

19th June 2002

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