Roma President Jim Pallotta insists his words were “deliberately misinterpreted” by the media after ultras staged protests.
The patron had spoken at the Leaders in Sport congress in London this week and some of his comments infuriated the supporters, most notably with regards to security and asking the police why they “don’t just arrest” the miscreants.
“I am very disappointed to see that my words in a congress in London were deliberately misinterpreted. I will not accept manipulation from the media,” wrote Pallotta in a statement on the official Roma website.
“I answered a question on security and replied by citing a meeting with the Chief of Police, asking them to reconsider the decision to introduce barriers in the stands.
“A year-and-a-half, that’s how long our discussion with the institutions went on for in order to remove the barriers, trying to make them understand how unfair it was to our fans. It struck all of our supporters in the Curva Sud and not those who, effectively, were breaking the law.
“In that context, one of the issues we discussed was the possibility of identifying those responsible, thanks to technology, without having to punish those who were innocent.
“In London I also explained that in future the support of technology will be important to ensure we find only those who are responsible for a crime and look after the interests of the other fans.
“These fans allowed me to fall in love with this team, thanks to the passion that makes them unique. This is why I consider it absurd reading I attacked our fans during that meeting. I am very clear when I speak. The media should behave responsibly when repeating my comments.
“My speech in London was aimed at improving the fan experience, both now and in future. Anyone who does not respect the law should be punished. That is all.”
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