Italian referee Daniele De Santis and his girlfriend Eleonora Manta were brutally killed in their home in Lecce on Monday.
Police have launched a murder investigation but it has left the Italian footballing world in utter shock and in mourning.
The 33-year-old mostly officiated in Serie C while his partner, 30, was a model.
Reports from Italy claim that witnesses saw a man running from the scene with a knife but as of yet, there have been no arrests and the individual is still at large.
According to Italian publication La Repubblica, the body of De Santis was discovered on the staircase of his apartment complex on the second floor.
Manta’s body was found inside the home, while the report states that CCTV has picked up a person leaving the vicinity.
However, the killer had his face covered and had a backpack over his shoulders, making identification difficult.
Marcello Nicchi, head of the Italian Referee Association, was aghast by the news and has been deep in mourning.
“I am shocked by this tragedy,” he told Gazzetto dello Sport.
De Santis was set to officiate Wednesday’s clash between Monopoli and Modena in the first round of the Coppa Italia, which would have been the 131st match he had taken charge of.