Adem Ljajic weighs into controversial Roma-Juventus rivalry debate

Roma midfielder Adem Ljajic is the latest player to stoke up the row following his side's defeat to Juventus at the weekend, in spite of club president James Pallotta's attempts to bring all the post-match controversy to an end.

Following Leonardo Bonucci's much-criticised tweet, Francesco Totti's insinuations that Juventus receive favours from referees and Pavel Nedved's subsequent criticism of the Roma captain, Pallotta called for everybody to take a step back and move on from Sunday's contention, earning the praise of Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago for a stance rarely seen in the often litigious Italian game

"I read his comments this morning and I applaud him for them," Malago is quoted as saying by Il Corriere dello Sport.

"I've got to say, it's a lesson in style. Maybe people would have expected him to respond in a certain kind of way. I don't think it's a coincidence that this comes from somebody who's not Italian.

"This is Italy and you know that we're a country with a limited sporting culture. Considering there is no fundament of a sporting culture, everybody feels it is legitimate to think bad things, to have suspicions, conspiracy theories and behave incorrectly.

"This is the result. Probably in a very evolved country like England, there would not have been a situation like this one."

That situation does not look like it is going to be resolved either for as long as the mumblings continue. Ljajic had his say on Wednesday with Sunday's defeat still not digested.

"We played really well and also scored two goals, but we conceded three of which not one was legitimate," he told Radio Roma.

"You can't do anything when faced with that, but it's best we leave it at that.

"We are playing the best football in Italy at the moment and we are the strongest right now, but we have still got to prove that on the field and give our utmost to win. There are still lots of games to be played and anything can happen."

The dispute between Roma and Juventus has thrown up some arguments for the rest of Italian football. One of which is whether technology should be used to assist referees in certain circumstances.

Television replays and analysis supported Ljajic's claims to a certain extent, although even after hours of discussions, there was no real consensus on whether any or all of the goals were valid or not.

Nevertheless, Udinese coach Andrea Stramaccioni feels referees need to be given a hand.

"The speed of the game has changed and we need to introduce technology to make this sport more credible and to help the referees," said the former Inter Milan coach at a news conference.

"We've got to ask ourselves whether this sport intends to grow or not. Even with five referees, it's hard so I don't think it's just the referee's fault.

"There are too many aspects that a referee has to consider in just a fraction of a second and maybe introducing technology in support, like the goal line technology, could make the game more fascinating."

Italian Football Association (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio has also spoken in favour of using technology while Totti said "bring it on" when asked his opinion on the subject on Sunday.