There was a lot going on in the world of tennis this weekend.
But if you weren’t paying close attention to Twitter, you might have missed a couple of video clips of experienced ATP Tour umpire Gianluca Moscarella at an ATP Tour Challenger in Florence, Italy.
The second-round match between Pedro Sousa of Portugal and Moscarella’s countryman, Enrico Della Valle, was on a set break when Moscarella had a fair bit to say to Sousa.
In what sounds like a mixture of Italian and Spanish, he touched on various subjects including the fact that Sousa “should” be winning, Moscarella was frying in the heat, etc. etc. etc.
BREAKING VIDEO! Umpire Moscarella giving any kind of advice to player during toilet break "Stay focused" "Come on" "2 minutes and its over" "Match should be 61 61 you had 45 break points" "Focused please" etc (via @Giampao57271089). Is this acceptable?https://t.co/htvLadXVpv
— Stefano Berlincioni (@Carretero77) September 28, 2019
But there was more than that. According to this second video (both would have been taken from the ATP’s Challenger Tour livestream feeds, so send your copyright violation emails to the publisher), he also had some inappropriate things to say to a young ballgirl.
BREAKING VIDEO! More about the umpire behaviour in that match. Said to ballgirl "“You are fantastic” “Very sexy” “Are you ok? It’s hot. Do you feel hot? Phisically or emotionally?” Is this acceptable addressed to a young girl even if said "as a joke"?https://t.co/IUHEZ5oySa
— Stefano Berlincioni (@Carretero77) September 29, 2019
Here’s the statement the ATP Tour released early Monday morning concerning Moscarella.
“We are aware of a number of incidents involving chair umpire Gianluca Moscarella during a match between Pedro Sousa and Enrico Dalla Valle at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Florence last week. Moscarella was immediately dismissed from the tournament when the matter was brought to light, and a full investigation has been initiated. Meanwhile, Moscarella has been provisionally suspended from his services as a contracted ATP Official pending the results of the investigation.”
ATP umpiring crew shrinking
That there was no one in the stands perhaps emboldened Moscarella to let it all hang out. But he had to know that the matches were being streamed.
That suspension, we’re told, is without pay. Moscarella is not a full-time ATP Tour chair umpire, and is contracted (and paid) only for the tournaments he works.
Here’s the gang of seven going to the 2019 season.
But since then, Cédric Mourier has left to take an administrative job, and Damian Steiner was fired after giving a couple of interviewers to a podcaster.
So of the original seven, only five remain.
Prior to this, the most notorious player enabler has been Mohamed Layhani.
As it happens, Layhani was “on holiday” during this year’s US Open, after what happened a year ago.