Friday September 23 2011
Sabatini: Blame Argentina for Lamela'

Walter Sabatini has revealed Roma's anger at the Argentine Football Federation for playing an injured Erik Lamela this summer.

The Roma sporting director fielded questions before the club's 1-1 draw with Siena on Thursday night about Argentine attacking midfielder Lamela, and his continued absence from the team.

Lamela was expected to at least make the bench having taken part in training for the previous two weeks and been included in the matchday squad.

However, he was not even named as a substitute, and Sabatini revealed it stems back to when the club first signed the player, and his scheduled involvement in his country's Under-20 World Cup campaign.

"For Lamela we have a problem and, hopefully, what I say will be a sort of complaint, but he wrongly participated in the Under-20 World Cup.

"He was injured, at least he could start [games] but then played when injured and has paid a very high price, and I must say, Roma is paying too.

"I am very worried by this story, because I had asked the Argentina Football Federation not to play him, but instead, the boy was sent into the field injured, and is now struggling to return to an acceptable condition, the injured ankle is ailing.

"We are not very happy about this situation. It is one that sees us suffer a lot, but above all, sees the boy penalised."

The sporting director was then asked about the possibility of seeking compensation, something he refused to rule out.

"I must say that when you are working with the Argentine Federation, they ask for an advanced payment of taxes. We've already done that, but we do not yet have the player.

"Frankly, my pain is addressed, more than anything, for the boy, because he would have been able to play a lot sooner.

"He is now struggling a little in understanding stages of game situations and the demands of the Coach. Now, he is still on the margins, he is only 19, so there is hope, of course."