If you think you’re having a bad day at work, spare a thought for poor old Marco Serra.
The Serie A referee made headlines last night for a mistake that cost AC Milan three points against Spezia.
If you aren’t aware of what happened, let us explain.
It was injury-time at the San Siro with Milan needed three points to go ahead of Inter Milan at the top of Serie A. Milan were drawing 1-1 and were going in search of a winner when Ante Rebic collected the ball on the edge of the box.
As he pulled his leg back to shoot, he was tripped by a defender. The ball fell to Junior Messias, who finished brilliantly into the top corner.
However, just as Milan were about to celebrate their late winner, they realised that Serra had blown his whistle.
Milan players were absolutely furious – and you couldn’t blame them.
But Serra had realised his mistake and held his hands up to apologise. He knew the error he had made by not playing advantage.
Serra was probably hoping that Milan would score from the resulting free-kick to spare his blushes.
But things were suddenly made even worse when Spezia went up the other end and scored a winner with virtually the last kick of the game.
As we told you earlier, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport Serra faces a ‘lengthy suspension’.
The report claims that the chiefs of the referee association (AIA) have apologised to Milan. They also posted out how Serra made several errors during the game, including a clear penalty for Milan in the first half, which was spotted only after a VAR check.
But it’s hard not to feel sorry for Serra following another report by Corriere della Sera.
He reported that the referee, who is only 39, was in tears after the match in the dressing room. In fact, they say he was in a ’state of shock’.
So much so that Zlatan Ibrahimovic and four or five Milan players had to console him in the tunnel rather than protesting against his mistake. Zlatan reportedly told him that ‘mistakes happen.’
A lovely touch by Zlatan and the Milan players who realised that Serra is a young referee who knows he made a mistake.
While he may be getting suspended for his error, let’s hope Serra can bounce back and have a long successful career officiating in Serie A.
One honest mistake shouldn’t tarnish his entire reputation.