Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti has backed Italian referee Gianluca Aureliano’s decision to send Victor Osimhen off in Napoli’s Serie A opener against Venezia on Sunday.
Osimhen was shown a straight red card in the 23rd minute after appearing to punch Venezia defender Daan Heymans before a corner kick was taken.
Without consulting the video assistant referee, Aureliano independently took the decision to send off Osimhen as he was close to the incident.
Reacting to the incident, Spalletti warned Osimhen to becareful.
“Osimhen’s expulsion? He has to be careful of his emotional reactions. He is a strong attacker and all the defenders will try to help themselves by limiting his physical exuberance,” Spalletti was quoted as saying by ilnapolista.it.
“He will always have his hands on the defenders. He must be careful. The referee was very correct when he explained to me what he saw.”
Osimhen will now miss Napoli’s next match with Genoa next Sunday and could be banned for at least one more match if the incident is deemed to be violent conduct.
Despite Osimhen’s expulsion, Napoli still went on to win 2-0.