Tuesday July 29 2014
Roma: 'Tavecchio is embarrassing'

Roma President James Pallotta insists Mehdi Benatia “was never on the market” and support for Carlo Tavecchio is “embarrassing.”

The American spoke to the media ahead of tonight’s International Champions Cup tie against Real Madrid.

“The American tour is important for the brand but above all to prepare our players and have them play together,” he told reporters and the official Roma Twitter account.

“We’re playing big clubs here, like Real. They won the Champions League: it’s a friendly but everyone wants to win these games.”

The controversy raging in Italy at the moment is about FIGC Presidential candidate Tavecchio, who retains widespread support from clubs despite racist comments.

Only Juventus and Roma were initially against him, but are now being joined by Fiorentina, Sassuolo, Sampdoria and Cesena.

“Our position on the president of the FIGC is clear: we think Tavecchio’s comments are embarrassing.

“Tavecchio does not represent Italy or Roma: I am surprised that there are clubs who are still supporting him.”

Pallotta was asked about Benatia, who has now been linked with Real Madrid after Manchester City interest.

“Benatia? He's never been on the market. He's our player and is important for the team and this season.

“You never say never in football. That said, it's not our intention to lose our best players.”

Juventus have parted company with Antonio Conte while Roma have reinforced, so are they now the favourites for the Scudetto?

“The aim every season is to win the Scudetto, play in the Champions League and, why not, even win it. Juve performed brilliantly last year. We were excellent opponents: this season we've strengthened our roster.

“Our stadium project is not only for Roma but for all of Italy. We're working very closely with the authorities. The Italian people want this investment, because it's important for the creation of jobs: we will create 3,000 jobs.”

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