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Trouble at Rome Derby


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The Rome derby between Roma and Lazio was forced to be abandoned just after half time because of crowd trouble inside the Stadio Olimpico.

Referee Roberto Rosetti called off the contest with the game at 0-0 after flares were thrown onto the pitch minutes into the second half and the trouble spilled outside the ground.


The trouble is thought to have arisen after an announcement was made over the public address system denying reports that a child had been killed by a police car outside the ground.


Roma fans had demanded the game be called off after rumours circulated that a young fan had been killed and the announcement from the police incensed the supporters.


The Italian Football Federation decided that they had no choice but to call-off the match because of public safety fears.


Police questioned Roma captain Francesco Totti and his Lazio counterpart Sinisa Mihajlovic after they went to find out the views of each side's supporters.


It is believed that the supporters of both teams threatened violence against the players if they continued the match.


Lazio president Ugo Longo revealed he was in the dark as to why as the trouble had started.


"I think that something didn't work in the information highway, as nobody has been able to figure out why the match was suspended," said Longo.


"It is just incredible and I have never seen anything like it before. Seeing as it was confirmed that the news was false, there was no reason at all to suspend the game.


"The fans in the stadium did not seem to be too restless to begin with and it all escalated after play was halted."


Roma director of sport Franco Baldini admitted the decision was right after discussing the problem with League president Adriano Galliani.


"We were ready to go on and told Galliani this, but he chose to suspend it and I must say under the circumstances it was entirely the right decision," said Baldini.


"The false news was taken as true by a large part of the crowd and at that point it became very difficult to change their minds beyond reasonable doubt. The game could not carry on."


It is not known when the match can be replayed as both sides already have a congested fixture schedule.



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