Referee Marco Serra has thanked the AC Milan players for their reaction to his error in the defeat to Spezia, and has claimed he ‘can’t wait to go back to refereeing’.
The mistake made by the referee Serra during Milan’s 2-1 defeat against Spezia dominated the headlines and caused some fall out, as he blew for a foul on Ante Rebic instead of playing an obvious advantage, with his whistle happening at a simultaneous moment to Junior Messias curling in what surely would have been a winning goal in the 92nd minute.
Emmanuel Gyasi then went up the other end and stole all three points with Milan still rocked about what had gone on. Nonetheless, several sources including La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanNews) reported that some Milan players went to the referee’s changing room after the match because he was distraught with his mistake, with Theo Hernandez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic even consoling him.
Serra spoke during a brief interview with Sky about what happened in the game last month and the serious mistake he committed, which has kept him from refereeing top flight games for the time being.
“A beautiful gesture from the Milan players, but I was stunned and I only understood it on the day after. Now I can’t wait to go back to refereeing,” he said (via MilanNews).
“In my head there was an advantage error, I focused on the challenge between Rebic and Bastoni. And focusing on that I didn’t see Messias who was about to shoot on goal. After the whistle I have hoped that Messias’ shot would not go into the goal.
On the mistake: “In this case the VAR cannot do anything. It is perhaps the worst mistake that can happen to a referee with VAR.”
On Rebic: “I think he started with the idea of ’strangling me’, but then he immediately understood, as a man, that he too missed an empty goal in his career as it happened to me at that moment.”
On Spezia’s goal: “When the Spezia player was about to shoot, I remember saying: ‘I don’t believe it…’.”
On what happened the game: “Some AC Milan players passed. Florenzi, who was heartbroken like me, hugged me. Then Calabria, Theo and Diaz passed and told me to cheer me up and react because everyone is wrong.
“Ibra also arrived. The substance of his speech was: ‘Now show that you are strong, you must be strong. React’. I was very pleased with these gestures, I think I realised the next day what they had done. At that moment perhaps I didn’t appreciate how much I owed to that gesture. Did I sleep after the game? An hour on the sofa.”
On the messages received: “One forced me to smile. He said it was better to have all the bad luck in one game and one bad luck per game. Let’s hope we’re okay.”