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Roma release statement after assault allegations against coach

SoccerNews in Serie A 8 Apr 2022

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Roma have released a statement in response to allegations made against a member of their coaching staff following Thursday’s Europa Conference League defeat at Bodo/Glimt.

The statement explains the club has provided assistance to UEFA and local authorities after it was alleged that Giallorossi goalkeeper coach Nuno Santos assaulted Bodo/Glimt coach Kjetil Knutsen in the tunnel after the Norwegian side’s 2-1 quarter-final first leg win.

Knutsen claimed Santos grabbed him by the neck and pushed him against a wall during the altercation.

A statement released by the Serie A club on Friday read: “AS Roma would like to note that, following the conclusion of the match on Thursday evening, club directors and other members of the coaching staff remained at the Aspmyra Stadion until 00:45 local time, purely for the purpose of providing UEFA and local authorities with all the details of what transpired in the areas outside the changing rooms following the full-time whistle.

“The club has total confidence that UEFA and its various bodies will ultimately establish with clarity and precision where responsibility lies for the events that occurred, events that we have already described and explained in detail to all the relevant authorities present on site.

“Finally, the club would like to emphasise that it has always conducted itself in a manner that upholds the values of fair play and sportsmanship, both on and off the pitch: the same principles that we hope will be on display throughout next week’s second leg.”

It was the second time the Norwegian side have beaten Roma in this season’s competition, with a first-half Lorenzo Pellegrini goal being cancelled out by second-half strikes from Ulrik Saltnes and Hugo Vetlesen.

Pellegrini told Sky Sport Italia after the game he believed Knutsen attacked Santos first, claims that their opponents strongly deny.

Bodo/Glimt also released a statement about the incident, saying: “Roma is bombarding the media with untruths in an attempt to hide the unsportsmanlike behaviour.

“Glimt knows that there is a video of the incident, which shows the attack on Knutsen from representatives of Rome’s coaching team. The club has seen this video. We demand that the public have access to this video owned by UEFA.”

General manager Frode Thomassen added: “Glimt sees no other choice than to report Nuno Santos to the police on the basis of the physical attack on Kjetil Knutsen. It is completely unacceptable behavior. 

“This is a systematic provocation, manipulation and finally the exercise of physical violence against Kjetil Knutsen. We are confident that an objective body will ignore incorrect claims from Roma.”

UEFA also confirmed on Friday the matter is being investigated, saying: “In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector has been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding reported incidents which allegedly occurred at the end of the 2021/22 Europa Conference League quarter-final match between FK Bodo/Glimt and AS Roma played on 7 April 2022 in Norway.

“Information on this matter will be made available in due course.”

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