AS Roma boss Jose Mourinho furious after Nicolò Zaniolo’s late goal disallowed by VAR: ‘The game has changed’

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AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho expressed his frustration following a disallowed goal from Nicolò Zaniolo in the dying moments of Saturday’s scoreless between Roma and Genoa in Serie A play. The Portuguese tactician was furious at the referee Rosario Abisso’s decision to give Zaniolo a red card for mouthing off at the officials following VAR’s decision to call the goal off. 

The Italian striker had scored a beautiful goal in the final seconds of the match would have given the Giallorossi three valuable points at the Stadio Olimpico ahead of Tuesday’s pivotal Coppa Italia showdown against Inter Milan (3 p.m. ET | Paramount+) But Abisso called disallowed the goal due to a foul by Tammy Abraham before Zaniolo’s shot. Once the match restarted, Zaniolo was sent off for protests and the player continued to do so near the bench after being walked out of the pitch by Mourinho.

Mourinho, in his post-match press conference, blew some steam and questioned Abisso’s game-altering call to disallow the goal: “Zaniolo was sent off for telling the referee ‘what the f— are you whistling a foul for?’ Now you tell me, would [Giorgio] Chiellini at Juve’s stadium or Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] at the San Siro have been sent off for saying this?”

The AS Roma coach initially opted not to comment the episode, but later on he spoke to DAZN and then his post-match press conference.

“If the referee made the right decision, then it means our game, the people’s game for many years, the game of which the world loves, the game has now changed,” Mourinho said. “It is another sport. If those are the indications that the referees have, if that is a foul, then the game is not the same, we have to call it something else. 

“It is no longer football, maybe soccer as they call it in the United States. If the referee made a mistake and had to validate the goal, then he will be the first not to be happy. And for Roma, it is déjà vu because it has happened to us many times.”

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