Referee Marco Serra apologised to the AC Milan players and coaches according to Rossoneri boss Stefano Pioli following Monday’s shock 2-1 loss to Spezia.
Serra made a crucial mistake, blowing his whistle early when Milan won a free-kick on the edge of the box, with Junior Messias netting only for the referee not to play the advantage.
The goal would have put Milan 2-1 up at the time, before Spezia grabbed a late winner from Emanuel Gyasi.
“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. Its a shame.
“However, we should have scored more goals in the first half, its a bad night and we must react now.”
Gazzetta dello Sport have reported that Serra will be demoted and face a lengthy stint on the sidelines for his error.
According to their report, the chiefs of the referee association (AIA) also apologised to Milan for the costly blunder.
Sixth-placed Fiorentina remained in touch with Dusan Vlahovic among the scorers in their 6-0 victory over Genoa.