De Ascentis denies players' derby mission
By Lorenzo Zacchetti. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
TORINO star Diego De Ascentis has exclusively revealed to planetfootball.com that the Italian press misquoted him after his declarations about the ferocious Turin derby on Saturday evening.
Torino stars were accused of deliberately setting out to injure Juventus players and get themselves sent-off ahead of Juve's Champions League game against Barcelona.
Journalists mobbed the Granata midfielder after the match in which three players from Torino were given their marching orders along with one from Juve.
The former Milan ace told the press: "During the week, the fans asked us to get four or five red cards.
"We have only got three sent-off and they were done unintentionally."
Luciano Moggi, general director of Juventus, added more fuel to the fire when he revealed that he believed Torino players were under strict orders after a meeting with hardcore fans to go out and show their passion for their side by being sent-off and hurting his players.
But De Ascentis wanted to set the record straight and told planetfootball his comments after the game were taken out of context.
He said: "Right after the match, you're quite confused and with a lot of journalists around, it's not uncommon if you get misunderstood.
"I don't remember the very words I used, but I meant that our fans asked us to give our all out on the pitch, no matter if it meant at the cost of getting four or five red cards.
"It's entirely different from saying they wanted us to get sent-off. I didn't mean it, because the fans didn't ask us to do it."
Torino fans are wild with jealousy at the success being enjoyed at the Stadio Delle Alpi by Juve but De Ascentis denied the players have received threats from supporters throughout the season.
"The fact is, when things go bad, you can't expect a happy crowd at the stadium.
"I understand that you are doing your job as a journalist, but all this talk about the match and our fans means you are making a bigger deal of it than it really is.
"I only hope it will not last for the rest of the week."
Torino president Attilio Romero, attempted to deflect the heat away from his own side by labelling the match a "premeditated joke" after what he felt were some dubious decisions against his side and left the game after Carlos Marinelli received his marching orders in the 67th minute.
De Ascentis added: "He says what he thinks, and he is responsible for that. I think the referee's decisions are disputable as well but I don't want to go further into that.
"Marinelli pushed him and we accept the red card, but in the action he was fouled three times and the ref did not whistle.
"He made a lot of mistakes during the match. Alessio Tacchinardi also tackled Alessandro Conticchio extremely hard but he was not booked and nobody said he did it to please the fans."
With denials from Torino and barbed comments from Juve's hierarchy, Turin judge Emidio Frascione has confirmed that an investigation is underway into the goings on.
Although the Italian FA have yet to get involved, it seems likely that the polemics over the game - which incidentally Juventus won 2-0 - are set to rumble on.