Soccer-Garcia furious over Salah injury, Pioli fumes over penalty
AS Roma's Mohamed Salah lies injured on the pitch during their Serie A soccer match against Lazio's at Olympic stadium in Rome, Italy - REUTERS

MILAN: Roma coach Rudi Garcia was furious about a tackle that lead toMohamed Salah being carried off on a stretcher while his Lazio counterpart Stefano Pioli fumed over an early penalty award following their derby on Sunday.

However, both coaches agreed that a solution needed to be found to the security problem which led both sets of Ultras to boycott the match, leaving the Stadio Olimpico half empty.

Roma were set on their way to a 2-0 win when Edin Dzeko won and converted a 10th minute penalty, although television replays showed that Santiago Gentiletti’s tackle on the Bosnia forward took place just outside the area.

“The game quickly went bad with a penalty which should not have been given,” Pioli told Mediaset Premium. “Gentiletti’s foot was outside the area, the referee was not in the ideal position to see and if he’s not sure, he should not give the penalty.”

Garcia, however, said that the decision was “a question of millimetres.”

“If it’s the foot that commits the foul – and I don’t think it was – then it’s outside of the area, but if you consider the knee as the body part committing the foul then it’s on the line and a penalty,” he added.

Roma had Salah carried off in the second half after Senad Lulic’s challenge caught his ankle.

“We just hope there’s no break,” said Garcia. “Tackles like that don’t belong, not even in the derby. We need to protect the players and keep them safe.

“I hope it’s not too serious for Salah, but it’ll be a miracle if there’s no break or fracture.”

Both ends of the Stadio Olimpico were nearly deserted as Lazio fans joined Roma in a boycott.

Roma’s hardcore fans are furious because the civil defence service has ordered the Curva Sud to be split for security reasons and say their club’s response has not been strong enough.

However, several hundred Roma fans gathered in front of the team’s hotel before the match to back their team.

“I just want to thank those who came to the stadium and cheered us on. And I want to thank the Curva Sud for coming to support us at the hotel. I hope the situation can be resolved,” said Garcia.

“I hope that everything changes,” said Pioli. “We are penalising the spectacle and the good fans.”

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