In the wake of Roma's opening round draw with Hellas Verona, we weren't really sure where to pin the blame for the Giallorossi's struggles. Yeah, there were a couple of missed chances but by and large the men who missed them, Pedro and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, played solid in their season debuts. And sure, Fonseca's tactics and personnel decisions were a bit head scratching, but with parts of his squad either waiting for a transfer or recovering from COVID, his hands were sort of tied.
There is no equivocating on today's news, however:
Following Roma's weekend draw with Verona, word of some clerical irregularities regarding Roma's officially submitted roster began to make rounds. On any given roster, players are listed as either senior or U-22 players. Diawara, who turned 23 in July, was listed as the latter. According to multiple reports, Roma were made aware of this clerical error prior to the match and failed to make the necessary changes.
And moments ago, the league made official what we feared: Roma's 0-0 draw will now officially be registered as a 3-0 defeat to Verona. Roma may attempt to appeal the decision on the grounds that it was not done with malice of forethought, nor to gain any competitive advantage, since the club still had four empty senior slots on their 25 man roster for last weekend's match. (Update: They are appealing)
Needless to say, this is not a good look for a club looking for a fresh start under new ownership. We'll keep tabs on this story, but, as we all know, one point can make a huge difference come the end of the season.
Clamoroso: Pantaleo Longo, il dirigente della Roma che ha lasciato il club dopo il pasticcio Diawara con conseguente 3-0 a tavolino per l'Hellas Verona,sarebbe in procinto di firmare con.... l'Hellas Verona.Alle 23.00, su Sportitalia, però spiegheremo bene tutta la vicenda reale.— Michele Criscitiello (@MCriscitiello) September 22, 2020
You simply can't make this shit up: Pantaleo Longo, the man responsible for this cock-up, is likely taking a similar position with Hellas Verona now. This is either an extremely Italy thing to happen or perhaps the most absurd Roma Happened moment we’ve ever seen.