Gandini: 'Refs embarrassed without VAR'

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Roma CEO Umberto Gandini maintains “ill-prepared referees in the Champions League” should welcome VAR to “avoid embarrassing situations” like against Liverpool.

The Giallorossi went out of the semi-final 7-6 on aggregate, but were denied two penalties in the 4-2 second leg victory at the Stadio Olimpico.

“We reacted with dignity and let’s say we took it in the right way,” Gandini told Radio Deejay, despite President James Pallotta being the subject of an investigation by UEFA for his post-match comments.

“We are taking part in a tournament where the economic aspect is important, but we’ve done our job and are happy, despite the final result disappointment.

“It was a very well-organised event where everything went well. There was a wonderful response from the authorities, our fans and those of Liverpool.”

Roma and Juventus are now at the forefront of calling for VAR in the Champions League.

“The main issue is the number of referees and the relationships with different approaches to refereeing. Some countries have decided to implement VAR, others have not, for example the Premier League.

“There are ill-prepared referees and in the Champions League that can make a big difference. VAR is an irreversible process, so UEFA will get there eventually, that’s certain.

“They will have to experiment it in as many countries as possible to ensure the technology is used by everyone. I can tell you that (referee Damir) Skomina was the first to realise he could’ve avoided that embarrassing situation if he had been able to count on VAR.”

Although they didn’t get to the Final, Roma have still pocketed almost €100m from their Champions League participation.

“This allows us to look at the situation with more calm and no need to sell players, but we must still keep our accounts in check. Obviously, income like this and the sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways will take pressure off.”

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