Nicolo Melli about EuroBasket refereeing: 'FIBA has to do something'

2022-09-14 17:45

Nicolo Melli wanted to direct attention to refereeing in EuroBasket after the quarterfinal loss. According to the player, every single aspect of the tournament is great except the referees.

Credit: FIBA

After Italy's devastating loss against France in the EuroBasket 2022 quarterfinals, Nicolo Melli did not want to direct attention to the details of the match.

Instead, the forward addressed the refereeing issues he saw during the game in the post-game interview with Magenta Sport.

"I never talked about the refs... Never in my career. But FIBA has to do something," the player told. "Not because of our game. Too many big mistakes happened in this EuroBasket."

Player of the Game
Rudy  Gobert
Rudy Gobert
Points 19
Accuracy 8-11
Rebounds 14
Assists 2

Up by five (75-70), Italy's Marco Spissu received a technical foul in a perceived flop while going around Rudy Gobert's screen, which ultimately led to France narrowing their deficit to just two (73-75). In the overtime, the team's head coach Gianmarco Pozzecco received a technical foul as well when Italy was trailing by three (82-85).

"Everybody says that this EuroBasket has the most talent. As players, we need the best organization, referees, hotels, everything. Only so we can have the best tournament," Melli explained.

If Italy had won, it would have been their first semifinal in EuroBasket after 19 years. Instead, France gets to the semifinal for the fourth time in five tournaments.

In the post-game press conference, Italian head coach Gianmarco Pozzecco expanded on the topic further.

"I want to say just one thing about the refereeing," the coach began. "Why do we have instant replay? Why? For fun? Just to pay one more guy to stay with us? Why don't we use it? Why? Why didn't he shake hands with me after the game? Why?"

"We have to sit with all the coaches involved [and search for solutions]," Pozzecco continued. "Too many injuries. The players are the protagonists, nobody else. We have to protect them."

When the specialist was asked to follow up on his comment about protecting the players, Pozzecco did not want to expand.

"I was ejected two days ago, I don't want to talk about it," the coach concluded.

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