Roma manager Jose Mourinho has admitted to wearing a wire during his club’s matchup with Monza on Wednesday, saying he wanted to “protect” himself from referee Daniele Chiffi.

“I’m not stupid, you know,” Mourinho stated after the game. “Today, I went to the game with a microphone. I recorded everything. From the moment I left the locker room, to the moment I returned. I protected myself.”

“I stopped [talking] 20-30 minutes from the end because I knew he would give me a red card for anything. I didn’t give him the opportunity. I decided no, that’s enough.”

Draw for Roma leaves them outside of a European place

Roma went on to draw the match against Monza 1-1. Stephan El Shaarawy opened the scoring for Mourinho’s men, but the hosts leveled the scoreline thanks to a goal from Luca Caldirola. Chiffi sent off Roma defender Zeki Celik in added time as well. The draw leaves the club sitting seventh in the Serie A table. They have failed to win in each of their previous three top-flight matches.

The veteran coach was not, however, done lambasting the match referee. “Believe me, I have dealt with many bad referees,” said Mourinho. “Usually, when I talk about referees, it is because they have a direct influence on the game.”

“He is horrible, he makes no human connection with anyone, he has no empathy. Unfortunately, this too is a sign of Roma’s weakness as a club, because we do not have the strength of other clubs who can say we don’t want this referee.”

Jose Mourinho and referee clashed during match with Milan

It seems as if Mourinho’s issue with Chiffi originated in a 3-1 defeat to AC Milan in January of 2022. The referee sent off two Roma players and also awarded Milan two penalty kicks. After that particular match, Mourinho said that he didn’t understand Chiffi’s decisions.

Roma and its manager will look to get back on track against Inter Milan on Saturday.