Sunday September 23 2012
Zeman on Cagliari: 'Only in Italy...'

“This could only happen in Italy,” shrugged Zdenek Zeman as the FIGC opens an inquiry into Cagliari’s stadium chaos.

Today’s match between Cagliari and Roma was set to be played at the Is Arenas behind closed doors after the venue failed security checks.

Cagliari President Massimo Cellino publicly urged all season ticket holders to attend anyway, prompting a last-minute decision by the police and Prefecture to call off the game amid public safety fears.

“This could only happen in Italy,” shrugged Roma Coach Zeman on Sky Sport Italia this morning.

“It’s disconcerting. Now we will have to evaluate our strategy,” added Giallorossi director Franco Baldini.

The squad had already flown out to Cagliari for the planned 14.00 UK time kick-off and must now return home.

The FIGC has opened an inquiry into the situation, which is likely to see the 3-0 victory awarded to Roma.

Cagliari could even face a points penalty for stopping the match from going ahead with their “irresponsible” behaviour.

“The statement urging fans to attend made our decision to call off the game inevitable,” argued a local council figure.

Cagliari abandoned the Stadio Sant’Elia towards the end of last season in a row with the local council over restructuring work.

The Sardinians played their home games at the Stadio Rocco in Trieste instead, then set up the Is Arenas in the Quartu Sant’Elena area of the city over the summer.

However, this too has been beset by problems, failing security checks and leading the WWF to complain the structure was “disturbing” the local flamingo population.

Their first home fixture against Atalanta was played behind closed doors.