Maldini hits out at Serie A for ‘rookie referees’ and declares: “It’s an obvious mistake”

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan failed to claim all three points against Udinese earlier this evening and while it was mostly their fault, the referees seemingly missed a clear handball on the away side’s goal. This is what Paolo Maldini highlighted afterwards. 

In addition to former referee Luca Marelli and Stefano Pioli, Milan’s technical director Paolo Maldini expressed his disappointment after the draw. Just like the manager, he stated that the Rossoneri could have done better but also highlighted the referee’s mistake.

On the refereeing…

“I want to start with our performance. We are not perfect, just as the others as we’re still first. Our defects came out, we weren’t brilliant. Both today and in Salerno we took the lead, which is the hardest thing, but then we got pulled apart,” he began as he spoke to MilanTV (via MilanNews).

“VAR should remove the doubts, used this way it hurts because this isn’t the first time [for us]. It’s an obvious mistake, whoever decides must understand football. And I say another thing: Milan are in first place and cannot always have a rookie referee at San Siro. It’s not easy to referee at San Siro. Unfortunately, the referee made some mistakes.”

On the situation…

“The mentality commands the whole body, but the brilliance is not just a question of the mentality. The same speech I did for the referee I can do for the players who for the first time are fighting to win something. With experience, you learn to manage these things.”

On the next games…

“I hope it’s true that playing against the big teams makes it easier. We will prepare ourselves as best we can, we will play our best to try to win a title,” he concluded.

Maldini is, of course, referring to the game against Spezia during which Marco Serra was in charge. The inexperienced referee (in Serie A) failed to award Milan an advantage which cost them a goal, as Junior Messias scored less than a second after he blew for a foul.

With that in mind, it’s clear that Milan are very frustrated with the situation and you can understand their anger. Being the leaders of the standings (prior to Udinese), it is indeed strange that such an inexperienced referee got the game.

READ MORE: Pioli says referees missed ‘a clear handball’ but admits Milan didn’t do enough vs. Udinese

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini


  1. Milan played horrible tonight and didnt deserve to win but Udinese’s goal was a clear, flagrant handball, it’s impossible for anyone at the VAR working in good faith to not intervene to call that handball, even the players face showed he was hesitant about celebrating because he knew it was handball. This is one of the biggest embarrasments in Serie A VAR’s history, which is to say a lot, this is far worse than what happened with Spezia, that was clearly a mistake by the referee which he recognized almost immediately, but for me there was no bad intention there but this thing tonight, this is revolting, the VAR had every tool available at their disposal to disallow that goal and who knows why they decided not to, that clearly shows bad intentions, there is no way something like that can happen and we can call it a mistake, something like that cannot happen by mistake with the tools they have.

  2. Referees and game officials should be the least of our worries. The situation is different if you are 2 or 3 goals up, and the referee makes a decision that costs you a goal. These things happen in football, it hurts, but Milan have also been on the receiving end on some favourable refereeing decisions. This only hurts because we drew a game against a bottom table team where we couldn’t score more than 1 goal.

    Fix the team with the right players instead of whining. The problems with the squad is glaring for all to see, even the 11 opponents left to play in the league have figured out how to neutralise us.

    1. It’s not whining, we didn’t deserve to win tonight but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t have done it if it hasn’t been for VAR. There is no team in the world that “deserves” to win every match they win, on the contrary, great teams are recognized because they manage to get things done even when they play bad. Anyone who has seen at least 3 matches of any other team besides their own team in their life knows that a lot of big teams have won plenty of games playing as bad and worse than Milan played tonight. If you are saying that the team needs to play perfect every match and be better than the rivals every match they win, you can believe that all you want but it’s delusional and that’s simply not how this sport works. Milan played horrible, but even playing horrible a team like Milan can win matches just like every single medium or big team does throughout a season. What happened tonight is an injustice because Milan might have very well won tonight even playing as bad they did because it’s already happened many times. Milan has a lot do to even secure champions league positions but that has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Milan might could very well have won tonight if it wasn’t because VAR didn’t want to. That’s not whining, it’s having common sense.

    2. @keo

      Milan can be less worried about the referee and officials if they do their job properly!

      Last year Milan leads 3 goal to 0 against Atalanta. But the referee made 2 big mistakes against Milan that almost cost Milan 3 points.

      We also seen Milan played very well and leads first against Atletico Madrid. But the referee gave dumb red card to Kessie and that cost Milan 3 points.

      There’s also Napoli and Spezia incident where the referee just straight garbage.

      And you can’t expect Milan to played well every single match. They’re NOT Robots. There are days where Milan played bad but deserve the win.

  3. Maldini you are great and we know that
    Ask those player how they feel
    They don’t have blood.
    They think like Kesiess and Romanioli
    And Dollaruma. No blood my friend
    Pioli is another idiot

  4. This is absolutely scandalous refereeing, VAR was brought in to help the referees see the errors that us fans can clearly see on TV. How the hell can the VAR ref not demand that the match ref looks at the clear handball, this crap is happening way too often to specific teams for it to be accidental. At this point I’m fully behind the idea of bringing in referees from another country to remove the rotten corruption that is the Italian referees association

    1. Yeah we seen referee made tons of bad mistakes against Milan every time Milan needs a crucial point.

      At this point, it’s safe to say that someone in the FIGC higher ups doesn’t want Milan to win the league or even got through Champions League 🙁

  5. Poor refereing. Italy could boast of quality refrees some years back but do we see now a days. Let’s stop blaming the boys, they can’t be 100% in every match but that doesn’t mean we can’t win matches even when we play bad. Can those referees who officiated our games with Spezia, Napoli and Udinese do this to Juventus, Inter and the likes…Those referees must be sanctioned. The referees don’t just want us to win the scudetto…..

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