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'Disgusting stupidity' - Roma's president slams Sean attackers

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Doctors hope to bring Irish Liverpool fan Sean Cox out of his medically-induced coma today

Doctors hope to bring Irish Liverpool fan Sean Cox out of his medically-induced coma today

Doctors hope to bring Irish Liverpool fan Sean Cox out of his medically-induced coma today

Roma president Jim Pallotta has described the attack on Irish Liverpool fan Sean Cox "the most disgusting stupidity" and labelled hooligans who follow the Italian club as "f**king morons".

In an explosive, expletive-laden interview posted on Roma's website, Pallotta criticised those supporters who cause trouble at, and around, matches.

Two Roma fans have been charged for their part in the incident but there are concerns that worse will follow on Wednesday night when 5,000 Liverpool supporters head to the Italian capital for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Demolition

Liverpool have been doing their utmost to safeguard fans' security after meetings with Roma, Uefa and Italian police, but ahead of the game Pallotta has launched a withering demolition of the hooligan element associated with the Serie A club.

"We have a long history at Roma and what's going on when you have a few stupid people is that they destroy our history and they attack our legacy and I'm tired of it," Pallotta said.

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Roma’s Jim Pallotta

Roma’s Jim Pallotta

Roma’s Jim Pallotta

"It's not just an issue for Rome. It's an issue for Italy and it's an issue for the authorities and it's an issue for all of (us)to band together and to finally wake up so that we don't have a reputation - that's not deserved - around the rest of the world that our fans are not good fans.

"Our fans are the best fans in the world - it's just a couple of f**king morons that take the rest of us down.

"What I want to talk about is how these games are great but they're not life and death.

"What's going on right now with Sean Cox in Liverpool, that's life and death, and that affects his family.

"I don't really give a s**t about the score of the game.

"It's disappointing to me that Rome and AS Roma get blamed for a few individuals who do stupid things.

"Now, I don't know the whole story. All I've seen is what I saw on the video, like most others, and at least that part of the video with Sean is just the most disgusting stupidity and my prayers are for him and his family.

"It's depressing though that all of the other fans at Roma get blamed for something that, going back to that saying that I had about a year-and-a-half ago... a few people wrecking things for everyone else."

Pallotta praised the majority of fans for the support they give and said the efforts of the Stadio Olimpico's "ultras" were part of Roma's success this season.

"But it's time now for things to change in Italy and in Rome, because it is just happening too much," he added.

Coma

Mr Cox is in a critical but stable condition and in a medically-induced coma.

Doctors at the Walton Neurological Centre, which is around 10 minutes from Anfield, hope to try to wake him today.

The Dunboyne businessman had been standing outside The Albert pub at the stadium with his brother when he was the victim of an unprovoked attack.

A jersey from his local GAA club, St Peter's, was hung in the Liverpool dressing room before their draw with Stoke on Saturday as a show of solidarity by the club's players.


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