As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Exclusive: Ex-Lazio director Cinquini discusses infamous Rome derby riots in 2004

It was supposed to be a delicate Derby della Capitale, there were many rumours about the future of the two clubs and the future of many stars of Roma and Lazio, but a match that should have been a game of football became a nightmare, an indecorous show for Serie A and for Italian football.

Fire, injuries, ambulances, sirens, illnesses: that evening at the Stadio Olimpico chaos broke out and it was Oreste Cinquini who avoided the worst, with the right call at the right time.

The match between Roma and Lazio on 21 March 2004 will always remain in the history of Italian football, with a match postponed for the decision of Ultras regarding a rumour that had spread among the stands.

Within Ultras, spread a rumour that a boy had been hit and killed by the police: the reaction of the fans immediately broke out, they decided to remove the banners and that the game should not have been played.

Despite the speaker's announcements, with the Police Headquarters denying the boy's death, the fans called the players under the Curve and in a few moments the atmosphere had ignited and the game was no longer important.

Former Lazio director Oreste Cinquini, who stopped everything that evening, told Tribalfootball.com: "Remember the suspended Rome-Lazio derby? I was the sporting director of Lazio, Capello coached Roma and Rosetti was the referee. We met again in Russia.

"I remember well the day of the derby, it was said that a child had been killed, the ultras of both teams were on the field, we were on the field with Rosetti and the other managers, I called Galliani (president of Lega Calcio Serie A) and he said 'you don't have to play, stop'."

He was clearly the right man at the right time, to avoid what could have been further problems and trouble inside and outside the stadium.

The importance of that gesture is underlined by this sentence by Cinquini, who added: "The General Prosecutor of Rome still calls me to tell me this day, to remind me of my gesture. In thirty years of football many things happen."

Matteo Vitale
About the author

Matteo Vitale

Have your say
×

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free
×

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free