'What game was the ref watching?' Roma owner fury at disallowed goal

Milan (AFP) –


Roma president James Pallotta blasted the refereeing as his side were denied a late winner in a 1-1 Serie A draw against Cagliari at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.

Nikola Kalinic's 90th-minute goal was disallowed without VAR consultation after a push on Cagliari defender Fabio Pisacane and goalkeeper Robin Olsen in the build-up.

"Sick and tired of this crap costing us games. Too many times already this year," said US-based Pallotta on Twitter.

"I'm not sure what game I watched today versus the ref. Incredible once again."

Joao Pedro had converted an early penalty awarded to the Sardinians for a Gianluca Mancini handball after a VAR review.

Luca Ceppitelli's own goal pulled Roma level before half-time and tensions frayed in the final minutes with Roma coach Paulo Fonseca and his deputy both banished from the sideline before the final whistle as they protested their lost goal.

"We're very upset," said Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi. "The referee had a poor performance today right from the start. All he did was create tension in a match that was calm.

"The referee saw a push when the player stole a march on two defenders and moved. I think it's absurd. After 30 years in football, I think I'm within my rights to say that it shouldn't have been disallowed.

"This isn't the theatre. It's unthinkable to disallow a goal like that, otherwise we may as well stop playing football.

"On top of that, the referee didn't even go to view it on VAR just in case he'd made a mistake. That is a technical error from the referee and falsified the result of the match.

"The referees always check things against us. There's something I can't quite put my finger on that's penalising Roma.

"The game has been changed by a mistake from the referee."

Fifth-placed Roma's woes were aggravated by Guinean defender Amadou Diawara suffering a left knee injury, and Bosnian forward Edin Dzeko sustaining a double fracture to his cheekbone.

"I didn't like the referee's attitude throughout the game," said Fonseca.

"I could speak about the non-existent foul given against Diawara, or the incident for Cagliari's penalty, and then the goal at the end by Kalinic.

"I accept his decision to send me off, I deserved that.

"But on the goal it seems strange to me that the referee would tell the Cagliari players there wasn't a foul. I don't know why he changed his mind."

Cagliari are two places behind Roma in seventh.