The Nigerian striker was unlucky in front of goal on his return from injury as Il Partenopei were held by Verona at the weekend
Retired Italian referee Graziano Cesari has condemned younger colleague Giovanni Ayroldi for not awarding Victor Osimhen a penalty in Napoli’s Serie A clash against Hellas Verona at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Sunday.
Osimhen, who had missed his side’s last two matches, shrugged off his injury to make the starting eleven in the game week 14 clash.
An exciting opening 20 minutes saw Napoli full-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo strike to cancel out Giovanni Simeone’s early effort.
Osimhen was vibrant for the Neapolitans, but he was unlucky a few times as one of his goal-bound shots was deflected, and another effort struck the post.
However, the Super Eagles star’s most significant moment arrived four minutes after the break when he thought he had won a penalty for Napoli.
Osimhen played a cute one-two with Lorenzo Insigne and was in the box when Verona defender Koray Guenter tripped him.
But centre referee Giovanni Ayroldi decided that Osimhen had fouled his opponent and awarded a free kick to the visitors instead, with Osimhen bewildered by the controversial call.
Ex-Serie A referee Cesari is, however, convinced that Ayroldi made the incorrect call as Osimhen should have earned a spot-kick for his side.
“Contact with Gunter, Osimhen falls, and the referee punishes an incorrectness of the attacker,” the 64-year-old said, as per Area Napoli.
“But the magnifying glass shows us that Gunter loses his balance by touching the ground. Then he continues his run and goes against the Napoli player: Gunter touches Osimhen, then with his knee, he touches Osimhen’s back-thigh.
“So what happens: It is not an intervention wanted and sought, but it is an infringement punishable with a penalty kick. Because he crashes into the Napoli player.”
Despite Verona picking up two red cards late in the game, Napoli could not muster the winning goal, earning their first home draw of the season.
Napoli stayed joint-top of the Italian Serie A with AC Milan, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Inter Milan at the San Siro.