The AIA president, Marcelo Nicchi, said on Thursday that he, the AIA vice-president Narciso Pisacreta and the referee assignor Nicola Rizzoli - who officiated the 2014 FIFA World Cup final - were all sent packages with bullets in the mail. Nicchi (photo), who reported the incident to the police and the interior ministry, also denounced recent comments on TV: "There is a journalist who said: 'They have declared war on a people and in war you do not play the whistle, you are shooting. You have to shoot the referees and not allow them to referee'. This is the consequence". The Rome prosecutor's office said it was investigating the case on a possible charge of making aggravated threats, judicial sources said. Anti-terror chief prosecutor Francesco Caporale is leading the probe.
VAR has been introduced in Serie A this season with mixed results and has been the subject of fan protests. Last month, an estimated 1,000 Lazio fans showed up outside the Italian football federation's offices to protest decisions by VAR. AC Milan beat Lazio 2-1 on Jan. 28 after a VAR failed to recognise the ball first hit Patrick Cutrone's arm before he scored. Nearly a month earlier, in a 0-0 draw with Inter Milan, Lazio was awarded a penalty, but VAR revoked the decision as Ciro Immobile's cross hit Milan Skriniar's leg before bouncing up onto his arm, so the handball was declared involuntary. In December, an aggrieved group of Biancocelesti supporters also initiated legal action against match officials Piero Giacomelli and Marco Di Bello over perceived errors in a 3-1 loss to Torino. "Yesterday, Di Bello managed the Milan derby very well, yet he and Giacomelli will have to appear before the justice of the peace because of supposed errors", said Nicchi. "Tell me, if Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo or a Serie A player misses a chance, are they up in court the next week? This is scandalous. How can we send our referees on to the pitch when, if they happen to make a mistake, they might be subjected to this same fate?"