Replacement referee for Inter Miami match swapped due to conflict of interest

Replacement officials stand on the field before an MLS soccer match between Inter Miami and Real Salt Lake, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
A replacement official had to be swapped out ahead of an Inter Miami match, after he was discovered wearing the team's kit in several photos online. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

A replacement referee for Saturday's Inter Miami-Orlando City match needed to be replaced mere hours ahead of kickoff after photos of him in an Inter Miami kit surfaced on social media.

The Professional Referee Organization (PRO) announced that Guilherme Ceretta would no longer be serving as the center referee for Inter Miami's match against Orlando City on Saturday. Jaime Herrera would instead serve in his place.

“Referee Guilherme Ceretta was removed from the game due to a potential conflict,” PRO told The Athletic.

Nearly three hours after the initial assignments were posted at 9 a.m. ET, PRO officially made the change from Ceretta to Herrera. The game begins at 4:30 p.m. ET.

The matter, in large part, stems from the fact that Major League Soccer doesn't have its usual officials available due to PRO and the Professional Soccer Referees Association not working out a new collective bargaining agreement.

Until that matter is resolved, PRO will continue to use lower-division, college and youth referees as replacements for matches.