Sunday's 1-1 draw against Cagliari was one for the record books. Between Amadou Diawara's knee injury, the hand-ball call on Gianluca Mancini that led to Cagliari's goal and Nikola Kalinic's nullified match winner, fate didn't seem to be on Roma’s side. We know that Roma can sometimes make things harder than they need to be, but this was an entirely new level of absurdity. We seldom see the universe conspire against Roma quite like that, but can we really chalk this up to pure luck when there was a clear and obvious human element involved?
And that element, as it turns out, was match official Davide Massa.
Between the missed foul that precipitated Diawara's injury, the highly questionable handball call on Mancini, and the fact that Massa reversed his decision on Kalinic's goal (reportedly telling Cagliari it was a clean play before changing his mind without consulting VAR), Massa really made a mess of this match (pardon the ill-fitting pun).
So horrid was the late call on Kalinic that the normally reserved and dapper Paulo Fonseca lost his shit on Massa, getting right in face, Billy Martin-style. You don't mess with hair as perfectly quaffed as Fonseca's unless you're ready to strike down with a vengeance.
Thanks to his post-whistle theatrics, Fonseca was shown a red card by Massa, which, as it turns out, was far from ceremonial. For his actions, Fonseca will be suspended two matches, meaning he'll miss fixtures against Sampdoria and AC Milan after the break, assuming the ban only applies to domestic fixtures—there is a home match against Borussia Mönchengladbach sandwiched in between.
But the disciplinary measures handed down to Roma don't end there. The Giallorossi were also slapped with a €15,000 fine due to a member of the training staff sarcastically clapping at Massa following this ordeal.
Apropos of nothing, Atalanta were fined €10,000 for the racial abuse their fans hurled at Fiorentina winger Henrique Dalbert.
Draw your own conclusions.