Sunday September 23 2012
Cellino: 'I avoided Cagliari chaos'

Cagliari President Massimo Cellino insists he was trying to “avoid chaos” by inviting fans to attend a game behind closed doors against Roma.

The Is Arenas failed security checks, so the authorities ruled today’s Serie A match would be played without a crowd.

After Cellino publicly urged season ticket holders to turn up anyway, the police and Cagliari Prefecture held an emergency meeting to postpone the game amid fears over public safety.

“I invited the fans to come to the stadium to avoid chaos,” insisted Cellino to news agency ANSA.

“I wanted to avoid a situation where only the ultras turned up and created the idea season ticket holders could also get in.”

Roma have lodged an appeal to have the 3-0 victory awarded to them, as Cellino's actions prevented the game from going ahead.

FIGC President Giancarlo Abete blasted the Cagliari patron for giving Italian football a bad name.

“Dear Abete, I am not the shame of football. In 21 years I have never been deferred to the Disciplinary Commission over fake passports, referees, doping or false accounting. For others, however, the facts speak for themselves.”

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