Lazio have responded after accusations that Francesco Acerbi’s winner against Spezia was offside were made by Jose Mourinho.
The Roma coach touched on the nature of the Biancocelesti’s 4-3 comeback win over Spezia on Saturday, suggesting that Acerbi was in an offside position when he headed home the winner. Whilst he didn’t directly name Lazio or the Italian defender, it was a clear reference to his intercity rivals.
Many fans and pundits also highlighted the incident, which has become the latest in a long series of refereeing controversies this season. Whilst the goal is a little dubious, it’s worth remembering that all teams eventually find themselves on one side or the other in these incidents.
Lazio were clearly offended by the insinuations made by Mourinho, releasing a long statement today hitting back at his comments and highlighting various moments when they’d been incredibly unlucky throughout this season.
Below is Lazio’s statement against Mourinho in full:
The fact that in 2022 a coach of another team, during his press conferences, repeatedly refers to alleged refereeing favours to competing teams and that, at the same time, some national sports journalists, of declared footballing faith, rage on the same subject, forgetting their professional role and duty of impartiality, shows some things.
That Lazio is obsessively in their thoughts more than other coveted professional goals, that, as often happens, they look at other people’s houses to divert attention from poor results and sensational episodes that occurred at home, in their own favour, under everyone’s eyes.
That despite the need to evolve the image of football in Italy, some protagonists are stuck in the constant repetition of accusations against referees and VAR, that these attitudes offensive to the group of referees and the lack of journalistic objectivity are too often glossed over.
Società Sportiva Lazio rejects criticism and insinuations, and continues to believe that values are demonstrated on the pitch and not on the television. Lazio will never lend itself to being anyone’s excuse or scapegoat and will make its case in the appropriate forums.
The club’s policy continues to be not to discuss decisions taken on the field, even when it comes to blatant episodes that happened against the Biancocelesti, such as Tonali’s foul on Acerbi in Lazio-Milan in their winning goal or Ibanez’s elbowing Milinkovic-Savic in the box in the return derby, just to name two, although there were many others, including in Spezia-Lazio.
Decisive episodes on which we have chosen to remain silent out of respect for the referees on the field and the VAR, respect that others have not shown and continue not to show.