Following the typically explosive clash between Lazio and AS Roma last Sunday at the Stadio Olimpico, the reports covering a clash – or scuffle if you prefer – between Lazio president Claudio Lotito and Roma gaffer Jose Mourinho has almost made more headlines than the game itself.
The game was tasty, feisty and fiery. Roma ultimately lost to a Mattia Zaccagni goal in the second half, having played the majority of the match with only ten men following a quick double booking for Roger Ibanez who saw red in the 32nd minute, but two more players (Adam Marusic and Bryan Cristante) also saw red in stoppage time at the end of the game following an altercation between them both. Sites like Betway IPL Bonus would probably carry some odds on this not being the last feisty clash between the two.
With it being reported that Lazio player Alessio Romagnoli decided to celebrate outside of the away dressing room, that naturally annoyed the team and manager Mourinho when he had left the team bus (already serving a touchline ban following the fourth official incident in the defeat to Cremonese) and arrived to speak to the players. Lotito apparently stepped in to try and calm things down, and then there was the reported altercation with Mourinho directly.
The whole thing sounded like a complete misunderstanding whilst tensions were high at full time, but events like this do get far more coverage in the modern media world that we live in and Roma fans will more than appreciate, Mourinho kind of likes this off pitch distraction anyway.
With expected sanctions incoming for the incident, Lotito has now given his side of the story as he has now spoken to Radio 1 to address the claims that have been made in the press – both in terms of what happened but also has been reported as being said.
“I celebrated the derby like any other moment, matches are won and lost, but there is great satisfaction from the team and support from the fans. I am all for respect. I didn’t utter words, I saw a scuffle between one of my players and a Roma player. One thing did not go down well with me, that there was the Roma player completely naked in the corridor.”
“I stopped and Mourinho shouted at me ‘what are you looking at?’, I thought he hadn’t understood that I was the president of Lazio and I pointed it out to him, he went on. I never told him he couldn’t be there, only who I was. We didn’t argue because I don’t argue with anyone, it’s a problem of roles that have to be respected. The match was Lazio v Roma, Roma were guests. It’s as if a guest arrives at your house and behaves in a certain way.”
Roma fans will await with interest Mourinho’s response.