AS Roma owner James Pallotta has been punished by UEFA for calling the officiating “an absolute joke” after Roma were bounced by Liverpool in last year’s UEFA Champions League.
UEFA announced on Friday that Pallotta had been given a three-month ban for “improper conduct.” UEFA stated that Pallotta is banned “from carrying out his function during UEFA competition matches in which he would otherwise participate, starting from AS Roma’s first UEFA competition match of the 2018/2019 season. In particular, the official may not be in the technical area or communicate directly or indirectly with the team’s players and/or technical staff during the match and may not enter the dressing room or tunnel before or during the match.”
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Pallotta made headlines around the world for his reactions in Rome, including jumping into one of the city’s many famous fountains after Roma knocked out Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinals.
However, against Liverpool, Roma’s dream run came to an end, with the Reds winning 7-6 on aggregate in a wild 180 minutes of action. Pallotta, speaking after Roma was knocked out, stated it was “an absolute joke” that UEFA didn’t have video assistant refereeing, which may have helped give Roma a penalty kick on two occasions.
While Pallotta may appeal, this suspension isn’t too serious. It appears that Pallotta can still sit in the owners box and attend UEFA matches, just not be in the technical area or in the tunnel before and during the game.