Referee faces 'lengthy suspension' after mistake in AC Milan match 4 months ago

Referee faces 'lengthy suspension' after mistake in AC Milan match

Serra apologised to the AC Milan manager and players after the game.

Italian referee Marco Serra is reportedly facing a 'lengthy suspension' after costing AC Milan the win in their shock defeat against Spezia Calcio on Monday.

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With the game level at 1-1 - after Rafael Leão opened the scoring for Milan and before Kevin Agudelo fired back - the home side pushed for victory and came incredibly close to doing so when Ante Rebic slipped the ball through to Junior Messias inside the area.

Referee faces 'lengthy suspension' after mistake in AC Milan defeat to Spezia.

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However, as Messias curled the ball into the net, referee Serra blew his whistle for a free-kick after Rebic was fouled before he played the ball through to Messias.

Milan's players were understandably furious with the decision, immediately swarming the referee - who put his hands in the air to apologise for his mistake.

Stefano Pioli's side failed to produce anything from the subsequent free-kick, leaving the score at 1-1 as it appeared as though Milan would have to settle for a point.

With no advantage played, despite there being just two seconds between the foul and the shot, the controversial incident became even more costly when Spezia went up the other end to score a 96th-minute winner.

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AC Milan referee

AC Milan 1-2 Spezia.

Now, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Serra is facing a 'lengthy suspension' for his performance at the San Siro.

The Italian news outlet claim that the chiefs of the referee association (AIA) have apologised to Milan for the mistake and have pointed out how Serra made several errors, including an obvious missed penalty for Milan in the first half, which VAR later spotted.

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While a typical suspension for a poor refereeing performance is two games, Gazzetta dello Sport report that Serra could be handed a much bigger punishment.

Milan boss Pioli revealed Serra apologised to him and his players after the game.

AC Milan referee

"I tried to calm my players down, but I didn't manage as Spezia's goal proves," Pioli told DAZN.

"We knew it was an injustice, we have ourselves to blame, but we share responsibility with the referee. I am sorry to say that. He even apologised, maybe that wasn't even a fault. It's a shame.

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"However, we should have scored more goals in the first half, it's a bad night and we must react now."

The defeat is hugely frustrating for Milan, who would have gone top of Serie A with a win. However, they now remain two points behind leaders Inter Milan, who have a game in hand.