Roma blast 'hardship' as interrupted Udinese match to be finished on 25 April

football19 April 2024 22:44| © AFP
article image
AS Roma © Getty Images

Roma on Friday criticised Serie A's decision to stage the final 18 minutes of their match at Udinese, which was suspended after defender Evan Ndicka collapsed on the pitch, on 25 April as their domestic and European commitments pile up.

The two teams will reconvene at 8pm that evening in Udine to complete last weekend's fixture as Serie A applied a regulation that states interrupted matches must be finished within 15 days of play being halted.

But Roma wanted the match be finished in mid-May as after facing Bologna on Monday they then travel to Napoli next weekend – a match which is yet to be given a kick-off time – and face the first leg of their Europa League semifinal with Bayer Leverkusen on 2 May

"Roma's European results and four consecutive (continental) semifinals contributed more than most other clubs to Italy's Uefa ranking and as a result to the fifth slot in next season's Champions League," said Roma in a statement.

"Despite this, Serie A president Lorenzo Casini made today an unfair decision which forces Roma to play Bayer Leverkusen at a disadvantage. This is a clear backwards step for the whole of Italian football."

Roma said it would fight what it perceived as an "unjustified hardship", but did not specify how it would do so.

The capital club currently sit fifth in Serie A, which is now officially the division's final Champions League spot but both fourth-placed Bologna and Napoli are rivals for a place in Europe's top club competition.

Serie A had said in its earlier statement that "the date of Napoli v Roma will as a result be set taking into account of Roma's needs".

Ndicka collapsed with chest problems in the 70th minute of Roma's fixture at Udinese, which was locked at 1-1 when referee Luca Pairetto decided to suspended play.

The Ivory Coast international was initially feared to have suffered a heart attack but Roma later said that tests revealed "a thoracic trauma with minimal left pneumothorax (trapped air between the lung and chest wall)".

Ndicka was well enough on Thursday to celebrate Roma's 3-1 aggregate triumph over AC Milan in the Europa League quarterfinals, appearing on the Stadio Olimpico pitch with his teammates during the post-match festivities.