Roma discovered on March 15th that they had lost yet another appeal against their 3-0 walkover defeat against Hellas Verona.
This season has been shrouded in controversy from the beginning, when Roma drew 0-0 with Verona on the opening day. The dust had barely settled from that game before it emerged that the original result would not stand.
After Roma forgot to move Amadou Diawara onto the appropriate squad list after he turned 23, he was technically ineligible. The league’s procedure was to hand a 3-0 walkover win to Verona.
Roma have been trying to regain their point ever since with a number of appeals, but none have been successful.
This was not the only example of Roma receiving a defeat that they didn’t suffer on the pitch. Here are all the other times such a scenario has occurred.
Torino v Roma (1943)
The first instance of Roma losing a game a tavolino – as these results are referred to in Italian – was in 1943, after a clash with Torino in the Coppa Italia semi-final.
Torino were winning 3-1 at the time anyway, but after a Roma player – originally thought to be Amedeo Amadei, although his name was later cleared and it was clarified that it had actually been Vittorio Dagianti – kicked the linesman in the 88th minute.
The game was suspended and the result was awarded as a 2-0 win to Torino – who won the whole competition.
Roma v Alessandria (1959)
In terms of Serie A, the first game that saw Roma punished with a walkover defeat was in January 1959.
The Giallorossi drew 1-1 with Alessandria, with Dino Da Costa scoring their goal. However, the match was marred by a pitch invasion by Roma’s fans.
The result was overturned and as was custom for a tavolino results at the time, turned into a 2-0 defeat.
Roma v Inter (1972)
A pitch invasion was again to blame when Roma were punished with a 2-0 loss to Inter in December 1972.
The match had originally ended as a 2-1 defeat, but there were ugly scenes late on, including the referee being punched by a supporter.
Roma v Dynamo Kyiv (2004)Embed from Getty Images
The 2004-05 season was embarrassing for several reasons, but one of the lowest moments came in the first game of the Champions League group stage.
Roma were trailing 1-0 to Dynamo Kyiv at half-time, and there had also been a red card for Philippe Mexes.
An object was subsequently thrown at the referee from the crowd, injuring the official. The game was abandoned and UEFA punished Roma with a walkover defeat, the margin of which had now risen to 3-0.
The club were also ordered to play their next two European home games behind closed doors.
Verona v Roma (2020)
After some of the issues that led to walkover results in the past, the Diawara error seems innocuous by comparison.
A simple registration mistake, Roma did not benefit from the use of Diawara, as there were extra spaces available in their 23-and-over squad list anyway. But the league insisted that rules are rules, meaning the season started on a bad note.
Roma v Spezia (2021)Embed from Getty Images
The Verona game wasn’t even the only one this season to end with a different result to the on-pitch one; Roma were also punished after a Coppa Italia game against Spezia.
The match in itself was not pleasant, as the Serie A minnows took Roma to extra time. In that period, Roma had two players sent off and went on to lose 4-2.
In between all that, Paulo Fonseca tried to react to going down to nine men by making a double substitution. However, that took the number of subs Roma had made to six – one more than the permitted amount.
Some competitions allow an additional substitution in extra time, but the Coppa Italia does not. Hence, an exit that was already unceremonious became even worse.
The other way…
Every club has blemishes on their record and sometimes Roma have benefitted rather than suffered from this type of result.
Here are the stories of the games that have been assigned as Roma victories a tavolino.
Alessandria v Roma (1929)
The first time a Roma result was changed by the sporting judge, it wasn’t actually changed at all.
Roma were beating Alessandria 2-0 courtesy of goals from Gianangelo Barzan and Rodolfo Volk when, 10 minutes from the end of the match, home fans invaded the pitch.
By principle, the result was officially awarded as a 2-0 walkover win for Roma – even though that was already the scoreline.
Bari v Roma (1933)
As with many of these incidents, crowd troubles were the cause of the abandonment of a game when Bari hosted Roma in April 1933.
With the score tied at 1-1, home fans invaded the pitch – prompting the result to be changed to a 2-0 Roma win.
Novara v Roma (1941)
After drawing 2-2 in a Coppa Italia Round of 16 tie in May 1941, the replay between Novara and Roma five days later saw some unsavoury scenes.
Roma were winning 2-1, but the referee was making some unpopular decisions in the eyes of the home crowd. Things came to a head in the 43rd minute, when the official had to stop play after being on the receiving end of insults and objects thrown from the audience.
A 2-0 win was assigned to Roma, who eventually reached the final of the competition before losing to Venezia.
Atalanta v Roma (1969)
When Atalanta and Roma faced off in a league game in January 1969, they were heading for a 2-2 draw.
However, when home fans invaded the pitch, the process began to turn the result into a 2-0 walkover win for Roma.
That scenario ultimately transpired two weeks later, when Atalanta also received a fine.
Lazio v Roma (1969)
The Derby Della Capitale has always produced fiery incidents, but the one time its result was changed actually had nothing to do with violence.
When the two rivals met in the Coppa Italia group stage in September 1969, Roma were on course for a 1-0 win after Joaquin Peiro’s goal. However, in the 87th minute, the lights went out.
Because Lazio were the home team at Stadio Olimpico that day, it was their responsibility to ensure the facilities worked. Consequently, the sports judge decided to award Roma a 2-0 win instead – which made them group winners.
Milan v Roma (1987)
A dramatic incident caused the clash between Milan and Roma in December 1987 to be awarded as a 2-0 triumph in the visitors’ favour.
Roma goalkeeper Franco Tancredi was hit by a firework launched from the Milan crowd towards the end of the match.
Milan had won the game 1-0, but that incident prompted the result to be overturned in Roma’s favour.
Fortunately, Tancredi was fine after the incident; he returned to action just a week later.
Cagliari v Roma (2012)
Unlike most of these matches, in which results were overturned, the game between Cagliari and Roma in September 2012 never actually took place to start with.
At the time, Cagliari were ready to play in their new stadium. The only problem was that the stadium was not ready for them.
With the arena yet to pass a safety test, the authorities ordered the game to be played behind closed doors. But Cagliari chief Massimo Cellino – who went on to have a controversial stint in charge of Leeds United – told supporters they should attend if they had a ticket.
Then-Roma director Franco Baldini argued that the game should be awarded as a 3-0 win to the Giallorossi. Serie A agreed, giving Roma three points.