Referee Marco Serra dismissed by AIA after Mourinho spat: How decisive was the incident with the AS Roma coach?

Having earned the wrath of AS Roma boss Jose Mourinho and AC Milan fans in recent seasons, Marco Serra has effectively had his refereeing career ended by the Italian Referees Association, being removed from contention for what was to be his last season on the pitch.


Marco Serra, who became infamous after an altercation with and accusations AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho, will not be refereeing in Serie A for the 2023/24 season after he was effectively sacked by the AIA (Italian Referees Association). Serra had been due to step back from refereeing at the end of the 2023/24 season to become a VAR official, meaning his career as a referee has effectively been ended.

The 40-year-old gained infamy after the Portuguese tactician had accused the official of using insulting language towards him on the touchline when the Giallorossi suffered a 2-1 defeat to Cremonese in February and Mourinho was sent to the stands.

Jose Mourinho reacts on the sideline. (Photo: Getty.)

Serra had also been at the centre of controversy after AC Milan’s 2-1 defeat to Spezia in 2021/22, disallowing a legitimate goal for Junior Messias and served a ban for his error.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Serra was removed from the list of referees for Serie A and Serie B for technical reasons and not his moments on controversy. His overall rating for the 2022/23 season was poor, and another five referees will also be omitted from the list for their own poor officiating.

Not just Marco Serra: Mourinho’s feuds with referees

Jose Mourinho watches on after being sent off. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

When Serra and Mourinho had their verbal exchange in February, the 40-year-old had apparently used profane language to insult the AS Roma coach, supposedly saying, “mind your own f*****g business” after the Giallorossi tactician had questioned a refereeing decision to the fourth official.

Mourinho certainly lamented the incident after the game, and he had been sent off three times throughout the 2022/23 Serie A season.

However, his most infamous moment concerning referees was his criticism of Englishman Anthony Taylor after the Romans lost the Europa League final to Sevilla on penalties, even hounding the match official once the game ended.

Jose Mourinho applauds the fans after Roma’s Europa League final loss. (@OfficialASRoma)

Serra will become a VAR official, defends his character after controversy

After the decision from the AIA to remove Serra from its list of Serie A and B officials, the refereeing career of the Turin native is effectively over. No longer a match official or assistant, he will now be a VAR official and operate behind a screen and away from the pitch.

But the 40-year-old feels that he has been portrayed inaccurately in the press, and he is clearly disappointed in what is effectively a demotion in employment.

“I am much more polite than how I am portrayed,” he said to La Repubblica.

Evidently, Mourinho would find that hard to believe, and he can antagonise match officials, but it would not be a surprise to many if the Roma coach is enjoying a feeling of schadenfreude now that Serra won’t be refereeing in an official capacity.


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