Two fans associations, “Noi Consumatori” and “Napoli Club Maradona”, have launched a 150 million euros (approximately N76 billion) class action against UEFA and Romanian referee Istvan Kovacs following his controversial decisions during AC Milan’s 1-0 victory over Napoli on Tuesday.
Soccernet.ng reported earlier that an injury sustained with the Super Eagles kept Victor Osimhen out of the encounter. Still, the Nigerian international would have been livid with anger as his teammates endured the referee’s drama at the San Siro.
In an intense game that could have gone either way, referee Kovacs showed 12 cards, with eight going the way of Napoli’s players.
Three of those were shown to Zambo Anguissa in four second-half minutes, with the key midfielder earning two yellow cards before receiving a red card that got him sent off and ruled out of the return leg next week.
That decision and several others left Napoli fans and the management in a rage.
Kovacs in trouble
The two associations, Noi Consumatori and Napoli Club Maradona, assisted by lawyer Angelo Pisani and a pool of professionals, have prepared a class action for the arbitration of Kovacs.
According to Pisani (as per Tutto Napoli): “The principles of loyalty have been violated in sport. We are ready for a class action to ask for 150 million euros in damages from UEFA, Ceferin, and Marchetti.
“The refereeing the other night at San Siro risks breaking a dream of an entire city, damaging millions of fans who are always in love with this sport and who naively support thousands of euros in costs to stay close to their favourite team.”
More knocks for Romanian referee Kovacs
Former Real Madrid man Antonio Cassano has also spoken out about Kovacs’ performance in the crucial quarterfinal match.
Commenting to BoboTv, Cassano said: “There should be no second yellow card from Anguissa who takes the ball first and then Theo.
“The referee was the worst on the pitch; I didn’t like him at all; he made a disaster. He booked six Napoli players, including Di Lorenzo, who is the captain, and goes to ask for explanations.”
The decision to take legal action against UEFA and Kovacs highlights the frustration felt by Napoli and their fans over the referee’s performance, with many feeling that the result of the match was affected by his decisions.
It remains to be seen how the legal action will progress and whether Neapolitans will receive the compensation they seek.
Victor Osimhen, with four goals in five Champions League games, is expected to be fit for the second leg of the Milan fixture at the Stadio Diego Maradona next week.