(Note offensive language in paragraph 4)
ROME (Reuters) - AS Roma president James Pallotta has bitterly criticised the “disgusting stupidity” of an attack before the club’s Champions League game in Liverpool which left a man in critical condition in hospital.
Merseyside Police charged two men from Rome with violent disorder after the incident, which took place before kickoff on Tuesday in the semi-final first leg at Anfield. A 53-year-old Irish Liverpool supporter, Sean Cox, was seriously injured.
“I don’t want to talk about the game at all at Liverpool,” Pallotta told Roma’s website. “What I want to talk about is how these games are great but they’re not life and death.
“What’s going on right now with Sean Cox in Liverpool, that’s life and death and that affects his family,” he said.
“I don’t really give a shit about the score of the game.”
Pallotta said the attack on Cox was “just the most disgusting stupidity and my prayers are for him and his family”.
“It’s depressing, though, that all of the other fans at Roma get blamed for something that, going back to that saying that I had about a year and a half ago… a few people wrecking things for everyone else.”
Pallotta said that “99.9 percent” of Roma fans were “great”.
But he added: “Then, occasionally, you get a few, normally outside of the game, more than anything else… it’s just absolutely ridiculous.”
He said it was an issue for the whole country.
“It’s time now for things to change in Italy and in Rome, because it is just happening too much,” he said.
“We have a long history at Roma and what’s going on when you have a few stupid people is that they destroy our history and they attack our legacy and I’m tired of it,” he said.
“Our fans are the best fans in the world – it’s just a couple of ... morons that take the rest of us down.”
Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern, editing by Pritha Sarkar