Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt have reported Roma and their goalkeeper coach Nuno Santos to Norwegian police and UEFA after an alleged attack by the latter on Bodo manager Kjetil Knutsen.
The incident reportedly took place following Bodo’s 2-1 win over Roma in the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League quarter-final.
Initially, Roma have put out that it was Knutsen who attacked Santos, but the Norwegian club have responded with a strong statement.
They say that Roma’s actions are “a systematic attack on their values” and that they have video proof that it was in fact Santos who attacked Knutsen.
“Roma’s behaviour is not just a physical attack on Kjetil Knutsen, it is a systematic attack on Glimt’s values. We as a small club can not stand with a hat in hand and accept such behaviour,” a statement from the Norwegian side said.
“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 support apparatus. The club has seen this video. We demand that the public have access to this video owned by UEFA.”
Team 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 untenable with such behaviour.
“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 Rome’s coaching team.”
Manager Knutsen said: “I play football as it is something I am passionate about and gives myself joy. Experiencing unsportsmanlike manipulation up close makes me sad.
“Our focus is now on the matches in the days ahead. There, we at Glimt will show off athletic courage and solid football shoes planted in the values we believe in.”
Further on, Knutsen described the incident.
“A proven violation of the rules of the game is that the goalkeeping coach of Roma positioned himself illegally outside the coaching staff, where he continuously, verbally and gesturing, harassed Knutsen. Glimt made the fourth referee and UEFA’s delegate aware of this on several occasions. The complaints were not heeded and Roma’s goalkeeping coach was allowed to continue his behaviour unhindered.
“Everything culminated in a physical attack on me in the player tunnel. Usually, by nature I would withdraw. In this case, I was physically attacked. He grabbed me by the neck and pushed me into the wall. It is only natural that I then had to defend myself.
“The harassing behaviour we experienced during yesterday’s match, on the other hand, has nothing to do at a football stadium.”