Milan breathe a sigh of relief as the official news pours in – Milos Krasic, the Serbian winger who won his team a penalty by diving on Sunday has been banned for two match days. Cue hysteria and heated debates surrounding the issue of both video replays and the many cheaters who have previously escaped punishment. Andrea Agnelli has rushed to defend his star winger who he considers has been ‘the victim of a media witch-hunt’. Happily for him, many unlikely candidates have sided with the young president as they feel Serie A’s greatest signing is suffering the effects of a media circus coincidentally initiated prior to one of the biggest games in the domestic calendar.
One cannot help feel that Krasic has been harshly targeted for what many people feel is a usual occurrence in calcio. There are many suspicious reasons why the player has been made an example of, all of which have been bunched together to rob his club, who are ever so dependent on his skills, of his influence in the next two matches. First and foremost, he hails from a country whose ultras ensured the Euro 2012 qualifier was abandoned due to outrageous behaviour that risked the lives of both their own players and of those in attendance. Secondly he belongs to a club that under its new management is fighting tooth and nail to be reassigned their stripped Scudetti much to the dismay of many football fans who feel the vilified Luciano Moggi will be exonerated for the immoral dealings that ruined the beautiful game. And lastly, as the writers over at Juventus.theoffside.com noted, the media attention, largely attributed to the raucous cries of the Berlusconi owned channel, Mediaset, have ensured the issue received maximum coverage in hope of having the player disqualified for the match against the Rossoneri.
That is not to say that the player does not deserve his punishment nor should he be allowed to easily forget the distasteful gesture that has attracted all this unwanted attention. As we mentioned in the last club focus, the player dived in comical fashion and should face the consequences. However, his severe punishment seems both contradictory and unjust. Had the referee spotted the simulation, the winger would have been yellow carded and the game would have carried on. As such, it seems rather unfair that due to the incompetence of one referee, who failed to carry out his job correctly in order to spot the dive, the player is now handed an immensely severer punishment that impacts the club much more than the player. One has to also point out that due to the media attention the dive has received, Krasic will perhaps no longer receive the right protection from referees who are likely to act with scepticism the next time the player is fouled which in turn may encourage opponents to be a little rough with the Serbian condemned for cheating.
This has opened up a whole new debate with regards to retrospective punishment and the use of technology in football. The system does not seem fair nor have the punishments been applied consistently to the many players in Serie A who have taken an unjust tumble. One has to ask what punishment that particular referee will face due to his poor decision-making skills on Sunday?
Effectively, what the FIGC have done is ruin what is considered one of the most keenly anticipated fixtures of the season that will unfold in the cauldron that is the San Siro on Saturday night. With a full squad, we would have witnessed a real match with both sides in with a chance of winning. Milan are likely to field their top heavy formation to disturb the fragile Juventus defence whilst the Bianconeri would have relied upon their speedy Serbian winger to exploit the frailties of the Milanese full-backs. It would have been an open game, perhaps full of goals and certainly full of action that could have well gone some way in changing the opinion of those who view the Italian league as rather dull. However, without both Amauri and Vincenzo Iaquinta available due to injuries and with Krasic now omitted, Juventus have a depleted attack and are unlikely to offer enough competition to bait the breath of football fans.