Four fans arrested as Roma ultras protest

Four fans were arrested by police on Saturday as Roma 'Ultras' protested against their team's poor recent form.

Updated: February 19, 2011 23:11 IST
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Rome: Four fans were arrested by police on Saturday as Roma 'Ultras' protested against their team's poor recent form.

Fans threw bangers and flares outside the club's Trigoria training complex while police responded with tear gas.

One fan was arrested for throwing a banger and another for striking a policeman on the calf, according to Italian media reports.

Around 200 fans were involved in the demonstration and also chanted slogans against the team.

Roma have lost three matches in a row, seeing their season descend into disappointment.

They are eighth in Serie A after successive defeats to fellow title rivals Inter Milan and Napoli, all but ruling them out of the scudetto picture.

And they followed that up in midweek with a 3-2 defeat at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, putting them on the brink of elimination from that competition as well.

Coach Claudio Ranieri said he could understand the fans' frustrations but urged them to protest in the right way.

"I would like a peaceful protest, it's right to complain about us, we've been doing badly for two weeks with three defeats in a row," he said.

"It's a demonstration of love from fans who want to understand why we've buckled.

"My reply is that we're playing badly, as we did against Napoli, but against Inter and Brescia we were penalised by certain episodes that are also an indication that things aren't going for us this season.

"And also against Shakhtar our advantage lasted only 45 seconds, their goal came from a double deflection, and from our own simple-mindedness they scored from three chances that were more unique than rare.

"Two weeks ago we progressed in the Italian Cup in Turin (against Juventus) as heroes, now we haven't suddenly become dummies.

"We have problems with our balance, we're not managing to make up for the use of three forwards in other areas of the pitch and against certain teams we're playing badly, but that's for me to find the solution."

But Ranieri remains defiant over his own future.

"I'm not abandoning the Roma ship. Stay calm, I'm not going anywhere," he told journalists ahead of Sunday's trip to Genoa.

"I'm not leaving before the end of the season. I like challenges, I have a serene dressing room that is strong and determined and a team that, like me, still believes in the Champions League.

"It's a difficult situation and as a Roman I'm hurting twice as much but I'm going forwards with confidence.

"As for next year keep calm, there's an owner who is selling the club, a bank which is mediating, a buyer who has yet to arrive, (you're) trying to put the cart before the ox.

"I have received positive messages and assurances that I'm well thought of, they want me to renew my contract, but all in good time.

"When I arrived I knew there wasn't any money and there was a very difficult situation. I could have left last year but to do so would have been to betray myself."

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