NEWS
Wednesday April 25 2018
On This Day: Roma 3-0 Dundee United

On this day in 1984, Roma completed a European comeback by beating Dundee United 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Giallorossi had lost 2-0 at Tannadice in a bad-tempered match, with Bruno Conti claiming he had been insulted by Arabs manager Jim McLean.

After the match Roma President Dino Viola suggested, perhaps jokingly, that the Scottish side must have been on drugs.

There was therefore a fiery atmosphere for the return leg, with Roberto Pruzzo scoring two in quick succession to level the tie within the first 40 minutes.

Agostino Di Bartolomei added a third from the penalty spot to complete the comeback, but the tie was not without scandal.

Viola was later banned by UEFA for attempting to bribe referee Michel Vautrot, offering him £50,000 through a telephone call in a restaurant.

The proposed bribe came through Genoa sporting director Spartaco Landini, who claimed to be a friend of Vautrot, and would have used an intermediary named ‘Paolo’.

The phone call at the restaurant would come from Paolo, with that being the signal that the bribe had been accepted. Vautrot is not said to have taken the money supposedly offered to him.

Riccardo Viola, the former President’s son, appeared to admit in 2011 that the money had been paid to an intermediary - though never actually given the referee - but then claimed he had been taken out of context.

“I wanted to explain to the journalist that football is vulnerable at certain times,” he told TeleRadioStereo.

“If 24 hours from the game someone comes to tell you 'I have a chance to get to the referee', I challenge anyone to remain cold and impassive.

“You’re thrown in to a world that doesn’t belong to you, but you can’t go to UEFA the same evening and say ‘we’re not playing’.”

Viola senior always claimed he had been the victim of an extortion attempt by Landini, and contemporary reports stated that Vautrot never actually took the alleged bribe.

He was never sanctioned or suspended by FIFA or UEFA.

Roma would go on to play Liverpool in the final at the Stadio Olimpico, losing on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

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