Former Serie A referee Luca Marelli criticised the decision to disallow an Inter goal in their 2-2 draw against Monza yesterday evening.

Leading 2-1 in the second half, Inter looked to have extended their lead when Francesco Acerbi turned the ball in, but the whistle was blown in the build up for an alleged Roberto Gagliardini foul, although replays showed that Monza defender Pablo Mari was tripped by teammate Armando Izzo.

Appearing on Italian television broadcaster DAZN yesterday, and as reported by, Marelli was critical of Juan Luca Sacchi’s decision to blow for a foul before the ball went into the net, as this prevented VAR from being able to review the incident and award Inter the goal.

“Sacchi sees a foul on Mari. Gagliardini and Mari push each other with their arms but in this case nothing should be given,” Marelli claimed.

“Mari is tripped by Izzo, the timing is crucial because VAR could have checked the possible foul.

“This is a serious mistake because Sacchi whistled before Acerbi’s goal, you have to let the action finish because then VAR can intervene. The referee could have whistled a moment later and the VAR would have shown that there was no foul.”

It was reminiscent of referee Marco Serra blowing for a foul during AC Milan’s draw against Spezia last season, awarded the Rossoneri a freekick just seconds before Junior Messias scored a goal that had to be chalked off.

“Conceptually we are on the same line as Milan vs Spezia, different dynamics but conceptually yes, the same,” Marelli added.

Marelli officiated in Serie A from 2005 until 2008, taking charge of 15 matches in the top flight in total as well as 58 in Serie B from 2005 until 2009.