Roma launch investigation after they made TOO MANY substitutes – with boss Paulo Fonseca clueless over making six changes in a game when only five were allowed… and it’s the second time they’ve messed up on player eligibility this season!
- Roma lost their Coppa Italia last-16 match against Spezia 4-2 after extra-time
- But Serie A giants would have lost be default anyway after breaking sub rules
- Paulo Fonseca made a sixth change when competition rules only allowed five
- Blunder was made in extra-time at 2-2 after Roma went down to nine men
- The Roma boss admitted he would hold an internal investigation into error
Roma have admitted they will be holding ‘internal discussions’ after making too many substitutions in their Coppa Italia defeat by Spezia.
Paulo Fonseca’s side were locked at 2-2 in the last-16 tie during extra-time when the incident occurred, which saw them make a sixth change when only five were allowed per the competition’s rules.
Although Roma went on to lose the tie 4-2, they would have lost by default anyway following the extraordinary error.
Paulo Fonseca made an error with six substitutions as Roma crashed out of the Coppa Italia
The Coppa Italia allows teams to make five substitutes. Although FIFA rules state a team is permitted to field a sixth change should a game go to extra-time, it is competition specific and is not part of the Coppa Italia’s rules which limits changes to a maximum of five.
Teams in Italy are allowed to make five subs in three slots during the 90 minutes. Should a game go to extra-time and they have still not made their full allocation of changes, they are permitted an extra slot but not an additional change.
Roma’s moment of madness came shortly after they had two players sent off for separate incidents, including a second yellow card for Gianluca Mancini a minute into extra-time, followed by a straight red card for goalkeeper Pau Lopez a minute later after his foul denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
Roma were reduced to nine men in extra time after goalkeeper Pau Lopez was sent off
HIs replacement in goal, Daniel Fuzato, was part of a double change that took Roma over their allocation of five substitutes
Roma: Pau Lopez; Mancini, Cristante (Fuzato 95), Kumbulla; Peres, Pellegrini, Villar (Veretout 69), Spinazzola (Karsdorp 69); Pedro (Ibanez 95), Mkhitaryan (Carles Perez 85); Borja Mayoral (Dzeko 91)
Goals: Pellegrini 43pen, Mkhitaryan 73
Sent off: Mancini 91, Pau Lopez 92
Spezia: Krapikas; Vignali, Erlic, Ismajli, Ramos (Dell’Orco 68); Deiola (Acampora 80), Leo Sena (Ricci 68), Maggiore; Agudelo (Verde 59), Galabinov (Piccoli 68), Saponara
Goals: Galabinov 6pen, Saponara 15, 119, Verde 107
Referee: Davide Ghersini
Having already made four substitutions, Fonseca sent on Daniel Fuzato and Roger Ibanez five minutes into extra-time to take them over the limit.
It is not strictly the referee or their assistants role to inform a team they are making too many changes.
An embarrassed Fonseca admitted after the defeat he will look into how they managed to breach the rules.
‘If there is a problem, we have time to discuss that internally. There is a problem,’ he told RAI Sport.
Roma’s night started off badly when they went 2-0 down inside 15 minutes before a Lorenzo Pellegrini penalty two minutes before the break and a Henrikh Mkhitaryan strike in the 73rd minute took the game to extra-time at the Stadio Olimpico.
After Roma went down to nine men and made their six changes, Spezia struck twice in the second half of the additional 30 minutes to set up a quarter-final with Napoli.
Despite the nature of the defeat, Fonseca believed his side had done enough to win the game in 90 minutes.
‘We had a difficult start to the game with the penalty, which was a difficult situation to understand. After that, we created many chances, missed many goals, and then with two players down, it was difficult.
Spezia went on to win the last-16 tie 4-2 but Roma would have lost by default regardless after making too many substitutions
‘This is a tough moment, we wanted to go further in the Coppa Italia, but I cannot complain about the attitude of these lads. We have to prepare the next match.’
Incredibly it is the second time Roma have slipped up regarding player eligibility this season after fielding an ineligible player on the opening day of the Serie A season.
Amadou Diawara played 89 minutes in a 0-0 draw against Hellas Verona despite being registered to play with the Under 23 side, resulting in a default 3-0 defeat for Roma.