Lazio President Claudio Lotito took credit for Salernitana’s relegation playout win over Venezia, as he over-ruled his Coach to stop a substitution for dizziness.
Lotito owns both Serie A side Lazio and Salernitana in Serie B, so was in the arena for tonight’s showdown in Venice.
It ended 1-0 to Venezia, 2-2 on aggregate, so was decided on penalties by the heroics of goalkeeper Alessandro Micai.
“Everyone tried to send Salernitana into Serie C and this team was built for the promotion play-offs, but suffered a general blackout due to the negative and hostile environment around us,” Lotito told reporters.
“I invested a lot in this club, but the Lazio players no longer want to come here on loan because the atmosphere is so hostile.”
The President proudly revealed a behind-the-scenes situation that raises quite a few questions, not least about protecting players who potentially have concussion.
“Micai was about to be substituted, but I went into the dressing room and told them he had to stay on, as he’d win the game for us. I made sure he drank some water with sugar and he recovered.”
The situation was confirmed by Coach Leonardo Menichini.
“It’s true, Lotito entered the dressing room and Micai was feeling dizzy, he didn’t feel able to continue. I had prepared a substitution, but the President requested some mineral salts to boost his energy and after that, he was ready to play.
“You could say that showed a lack of respect for our roles, but Lotito turned out to be right.”