Tuesday September 25 2012
Why reward Roma?

Cagliari were right to be punished for Sunday’s farce, but, asks Antonio Labbate, should Roma really have been awarded a 3-0 win?

There have been some questionable decisions made by the footballing authorities on the peninsula in recent years. Too many, in all honesty. Yet the latest, which saw Roma awarded a 3-0 victory at Cagliari 24 hours after the game was called off, was one of the more debatable.

Cagliari deserve to be punished for the ridiculous actions of their President Massimo Cellino. Of that there is no doubt. To invite fans to come and watch a game at a stadium which does not yet have the necessary safety certificates is just crazy, even by Italian football’s standards.

What is up for debate is whether Roma should have been awarded the three points. Sure, Cagliari were in violation of a number of articles within the rule book, but each case should be judged on its own unique circumstances. And this was unquestionably unique. The encounter had not kicked off, the behaviour of fans didn’t cause its abandonment and Cagliari’s players, for all intents and purposes, were ready to do battle.

What really needs to be assessed with regard to the resulting fictional away win is what harm was actually done to Roma? And is the awarding of three points just compensation? “We are the damaged party in this affair,” stated Roma director general Franco Baldini. “We had organised everything for this match, including flights and hotels.

“Roma do not just need to look after their own interests and those of their fans, but also protect the sacrosanct right to respect rules in competitions. They cannot be bent to suit subjective needs.”

Baldini is clearly correct in terms of the latter, but, one could argue, the only real damage caused to them at the weekend was one of inconvenience and financial cost. Let us not forget, after all, that Roma booked into their Sardinian lodge without the injured trio of Francesco Totti, Pablo Daniel Osvaldo and Daniele De Rossi. Not bad footballing circumstances at all to be gifted a victory.

In giving Roma a 3-0 win, the authorities run the risk of falsifying a championship. For the sake of argument, how do you think other clubs would react if Roma won the Scudetto, qualified for the Champions League, Europa League or survived relegation by a margin of less than three points? It would be Calcio’s World War XXIV.

What arguably would have been a fairer solution for this sorry mess would be to dock Cagliari three points, get the Sardinian outfit to cover the capital club’s costs and reschedule the game. That way, let’s allow the best team on the day to win rather than the club with the least provocative President.

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Have your say...
Falsified Championship. Congratulations Lega - you've outdone yourself. Reading classifica di Serie A is like looking at Egyptian hieroglyphs. A joke.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 10:30pm
JUVEnile article written by an anti-Roma journalist.

This site has been pro-juve for too long and its rotting the respectability that it once had.

Clearly, the Lega followed the rules that were in place ages before this event even happened. To claim that enacting those rules somehow stains Roma's season is a joke.

Its one thing to question the rules themselves, and to debate whether or not they should be changed in the future, but to drag Roma under the bus for this is just idiotic.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 9:38pm
What a nonsense argument.... these measures HAD to be taken to make a stand, not giving Roma a 3-0 win would have meant Celino would mean these dangerous actions could happen again as the punishment would have been rather "light.". Roma lost to Kiev 3-0 in 2005 after the game was abandoned after a "fan" threw a lighter to referee Frisk. Then everybody asked for Roma to be expelled from Europe apart from a 3-0 loss, and now even a 3-0 loss is too much? Dont make me laugh, both 3-0s were right.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 9:29pm
What ever team was scheduled, even if they turned up with their youth team, should be awarded the points. On top of that, Cagliari should be given a points deduction on top of the 0-3 loss that was placed on them. I agree with several of the responders to the various blogs, what the hell is wrong with some of these club presidents?
on the 25th September, 2012 at 9:15pm
Pathetic article, learn about calcio and the rules before you try writing nonsense articles about it.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 8:59pm
Terrible article for reasons already mentioned. Cellino knew what he was doing, and the fact is this could have been a massive tragedy. Cellino's actions could be viewed as intentional to get the game called off, and anyway you look at it, Roma should be awarded 3 points.

This writer is obviously a Rubentino since he doesn't know or understand the rules, please stop writing articles as they have be a detriment to this site. Keep you bias at home and stop with these terrible articles.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 8:54pm
Seems like stating an opinion have become a crime these days. Anyway, I agree with the article... Roma have nothing to do with Cellini's craziness so they shouldn't got anything from this.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 8:05pm
Zeman is the best coach
Roma is the best team
on the 25th September, 2012 at 8:02pm
seriously you need to post more attractive topics. you are disappointing me Antonio. 
on the 25th September, 2012 at 7:59pm
there is nothing 'debatable' about what transpired. As much as the incident may be deemed unique (by virtue of your own rhetoric), there is, equally, a unique rule in place with explicitly noted consequences should the rule be violated.

you are advocating selective and subjective interpretation by authorities rather than enforcing rules objectivly. how 'italian' of you.

btw, were was your blog entry on a similar issue when italy were awarded a 3-0 victory against Serbia during the Euro qual?
on the 25th September, 2012 at 7:59pm
LOL...what a complete joke of an article. So I guess if fans showed up and a riot started outside the gates and injuries and property damage occurs; Lega Calcio would have been at fault right?
The owner of Cagliari was forewarned in advance...Communication was clear.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 7:51pm
Daniel wrote: "Why should Roma have to put up with a more congested fixture list because of Cellino's idiocy?".

Dead on.

Honestly Labbate, the view point expressed in your piece is full of the same drivel that plagues not just calcio, but Italian society generally. There is no accountability nor respect for the rule of law. I am tired of hearing from the same corrupt Juventino apologists. And I say this an an Italian: to reform calcio requires the commitment to reform modern soceital values.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 7:39pm
Easily one of the worst articles ever written on this site! No need to explain why as well.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 7:20pm
Luciano if you stopped watching the your opinion on things Serie A really don't matter
on the 25th September, 2012 at 6:26pm
In UEFA rules if the a team refusal to play, matches abandoned or not played through the fault of a club then through the fault of a club, a match cannot take place or cannot be played in full, the Control and Disciplinary Body shall declare the match forfeited and/or disqualify the club concerned. That is also within UEFA rules for those who seem to think it only applies to Serie A.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 5:45pm
I guess this is supposed to be the Lega's way of keeping things "fair". After all it was A.S.S Roma's ultras who threw the coin at referee at the time: Anders Frisk and had to abandon the match vs Kiev in Sept. 2004. In turn they had to forfeit 0-3 and play the remaining matches behind closed doors. Or maybe it was b.c the media felt bad when they exploited Osvaldo vs Lamela's fight last year. Or maybe it's just bc too many ppl are Rioma sympathisers. Sick of it! Give em the Scudetto too!
on the 25th September, 2012 at 5:34pm
For all those who keep stating that they should have rescheduled the game is missing the point. Rules are in place for a reason. If this was a CL game UEFA would have declared this a a home loss under there UEFA rules.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 5:32pm
Does this subject even need a blog !

on the 25th September, 2012 at 5:29pm
Rules are rules and that's fair enough...
Replace Roma with Juventus in this scenario and everyone would be hysterically calling for Calciopoli II...not least the outspoken loser, Zeman...and the whole scudetto race would be falsified after just a few games.
So yes, it's right to award Roma the points and for everyone else to shut up and accept it, but let's not be selective.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 5:26pm
Cagliari are still being punished with Antonio's method as they are still being docked three points. Even if they then beat Roma in the rescheduled game, they would still have lost because they would come out of the tie with zero points.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 4:51pm
Worst article this site has published. Not only did Cagliari violate rules, they violated the law by inviting fans into a stadium that was deemed unfit to hold them. The match was suppose to behind closed doors and they showed no respect for the verdict that was given to them...Yet you try and portray AS Roma as the bad guy here? Please, give yourself a reality check. The rules need to be respected and a simple fine would not have been enough. A forfeit is a fair result.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 4:32pm
Real Madrid could have asked the same this weekend, but Spanish football is way ahead of us. It is a shame to give Roma 3-0 win. It is even more shame to have presidents like Cellino. VERGOGNA !
on the 25th September, 2012 at 4:27pm
How ridiculous, I'm a Fiorentina fan but there are rules already setup. As long as they are followed what's the problem?
on the 25th September, 2012 at 4:25pm
I'm sorry, but you appear to be way overcomplicating the issue here.

Cagliari’s actions caused game to be called off – they forfeited the game – forfeiting the game results in universal punishment of a 3-0 loss, no ifs, buts or maybes.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 4:13pm
antonio,very disappointed in this article. it's a pointless, self defeating article in which you wrote to be a devils advocate. you have nothing to stand on with your view point/argument. a 3pt win (sul tavolini) on the table happens. don't be silly to think that this wasn't an adequate response to something absurd. this action/decision has to set a presidence. why?! it never happens again!!!
on the 25th September, 2012 at 4:05pm
The Seria "A" has become a joke. I stopped watching Italian soccer due to the Calciopoli scandal and now with this it just reinforces my belief that Italian soccer is a joke. All that should have happen here was to deduct points from Caliari (-6) and re-emburse Roma for all expenditures and reschedulle the game at a later date.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 3:59pm
It not Roma fault, rules are rules. Cagliari President decided to ignore the rules by
,calling the fans to stadium that was not safety for his own fans. Cellino represents the Lega, he should know better than that. This will send a warning signal to all clubs in the league.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 3:56pm
If, and it's a huge if, but if Roma win the Scudetto, before they are granted the trophy and title, they should have to play Cagliari and win by 3 goals. Roma's place in the table is a fraud, and will be for the entire rest of the season.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 3:55pm
It;'s a hard one really. No doubt Roma have been fortunate that it happened to them.

@daniel - Roma's season is hardly congested with no European football...
on the 25th September, 2012 at 3:44pm
Why should Roma have to put up with a more congested fixture list because of Cellino's idiocy?

Cagliari shouldn't even be in the league if they can't find an adequate stadium in which to play in.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 3:38pm

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