AS Roma Owner James Pallotta launched an extremely scathing critique on the “morons” whose actions last week in Liverpool were examples of “the most disgusting stupidity.”
Prior to Liverpool’s 5-2 win in their home leg of a Champions League semifinal tie with AS Roma, two men attacked Sean Cox, a 53-year-old Liverpool supporter from Ireland who remains in critical condition. Two Italian men, believed to be AS Roma ultras, have been charged and remain in custody, due to appear in Liverpool Crown Court on May 24.
Cox sustained severe injuries and is currently in an induced coma in the Walton Neurological Centre near Anfield stadium.
Pallotta’s interview, in which he pointed out how it’s the “stupid” actions of just a tiny fraction of fans who go and ruin it for the “99.9%” of supporters who behave correctly, is posted on the AS Roma website.
“We have a long history at Roma and what’s going on when you have a few stupid people is that they destroy our history and they attack our legacy and I’m tired of it,” says Pallotta.
“It’s not just an issue for Rome. It’s an issue for Italy and it’s an issue for the authorities and it’s an issue for all of [us] to band together and to finally wake up so that we don’t have a reputation — that’s not deserved around the rest of the world — that our fans are not good fans because our fans are the best fans in the world.
“It’s just a couple of fucking morons that take the rest of us down. What I want to talk about is how these games are great but they’re not life and death.
“What’s going on right now with Sean Cox in Liverpool, that’s life and death and that affects his family. I don’t really give a shit about the score of the game. It’s disappointing to me that Rome and AS Roma get blamed for a few individuals who do stupid things.”
“Now, I don’t know the whole story. All I’ve seen is what I saw on the video, like most others, and at least that part of the video with Sean is just the most disgusting stupidity and my prayers are for him and his family.”
“It’s depressing though that all of the other fans at Roma get blamed for something that, going back to that saying that I had about a year and a half ago… a few people wrecking things for everyone else.”
One of the points conveyed by the AS Roma Owner was echoed by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. The German also made it clear that it’s just a football match, not life or death. It would be great if more people realized this.
Giovanni Malago, President of the Italian Olympic Committee, also denounced the deplorable actions of the two men.
There are fears that the AS Roma leg of this tie could see just as much, if not more violence as the Liverpool leg, so thus, meetings have been held to try and make Wednesday night safer for all involved. Klopp also urged fans traveling to the match to stay safe and try to avoid trouble.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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