Ancelotti fears Hungarian referee handling duel with Liverpool

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Napoli’s Italian head coach Carlo Ancelotti addresses the media during a press conference on the eve of the UEFA Champions League Group C football match Napoli vs Liverpool at the Napoli’s training centre in Castel Volturno on on October 2, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / CARLO HERMANN

Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti said yesterday he was surprised by the choice of Hungarian Viktor Kassai to referee the Champions League group C game against Liverpool in Naples.

The Italian was furious with the official after his Bayern Munich side were eliminated from the Champions League by Real Madrid in 2017.

“The referee brings back bad memories for me relating to my last team,” Ancelotti said at a pre-match press conference at the San Paolo Stadium.

“I’m surprised by the referee designation… a long time has passed and time usually heals certain things, but does not banish them.”

The Hungarian official sent off Bayern midfielder Arturo Vidal for two bookable offences in the match in 2017, while Cristiano Ronaldo scored in extra-time from an offside position as Real Madrid won 6-3 on aggregate.

Ancelotti said at the time Kassai “wasn’t up to the task” of a Champions League quarterfinal.

Napoli face Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on Wednesday with the English club top of Group C after beating Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 in their opener while the Italians were held 0-0 at Red Star Belgrade.