'Juve Out!': Fans call for boycott, expulsion of Juventus amid referee 'bias' in Italian Super Cup
A #JuveOut hashtag has been spreading among Italian football fans, with many vowing to stay away from fixtures involving the Italian champions given concerns about a series of dubious refereeing decisions awarded in their favor.
The Twitter trend began growing earlier this week, following Juventus' controversial 1-0 Italian Cup victory against Milan in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal of the game in the 61st minute - his 16th goal in all competitions in his debut season for the Bianconeri - but the Milanese fans were left frustrated by numerous refereeing decisions which denied them a route back into the game.Also on rt.com CR-Heaven: Cristiano Ronaldo the matchwinner as Juventus defeat Milan to win Supercoppa Italiana
Milan, who were down to ten men after Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie was issued his marching orders in the 74th minute, were denied what appeared to be a clear-cut penalty late in the game as former Liverpool man Emre Can felled Andrea Conti in the penalty area, only for referee Luca Banti to dismiss Milan's protestations.
Furthermore, Juventus' Blaise Matuidi was fortunate to not be sent off after a lunging tackle connected directly with David Calabria's ankle in a challenge every bit as dangerous as the one which cost Kessie his spot on the field.
Milan manager Genaro Gattuso cut a furious figure on the sidelines, and he was reprimanded for his objections on the sidelines.
The result of the referee's perceived leniency on Juventus has led to large sections of Italian fans lashing out at the Turin side's dominance over Italian football, as well as the idea that match officials and even the Italian FA treat them differently when compared to the rest of the team's in Italy's top division - with some fans calling for harsh measures to be taken against Max Allegri's side.
An Italian Twitter account called Interismo Cosmico appears to have popularised the #JuveOut hashtag in response to the alleged favoritism, tweeting (via translation): "I will try to launch a hashtag that can help to organise the widespread protest of a country that loves football and can no longer tolerate certain tricks: #JuveOut.
"We ask Serie A to expel Juventus FC from our league."
Have you ever wondered why Junventus only wins in Italy and rarely in Europe 🤔? The answer is simple: Referees 😲🤭🤫 #JuveOut— Charbel Maalouf (@Cmaalouf) January 19, 2019
Currently 2nd trending topic in Italy hashtag #JuveOut ,as informal league of non-Juventus fans is putting together their discontent after umpteenth protests due to the refereeing in a Juve game,in this case the Italian Supercup v Milan that saw Gattuso banned for protesting— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) January 18, 2019
The hashtag has quickly spread to become the second-most popular hashtag in Italy on Saturday, but it remains to be seen if it will have any impact whatsoever over an alleged Juventus stranglehold on domestic officiating.
The next fixture for the Italian champions in which a boycott could be put into action is a home match versus Chievo on Monday at Allianz Stadium.