Roma coach to 'fight' charge of hitting steward

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Rudi Garcia was sanctioned for "aggressive and intimidating behaviour" at the Genoa match. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
16:18 CET+01:00
Roma coach Rudi Garcia said he will fight "with every means possible" to clear his name after being accused of trying to slap a stadium steward during his side's win at Genoa.

Garcia will watch Roma's next two league games from the stands after being issued with a two-game touchline ban for reportedly trying to slap a steward at the end of Roma's 1-0 win last Sunday.

Serie A disciplinary officials issued several sanctions following the fixture, which ended in acrimony after Roma ended Genoa's nine-game unbeaten run.

French coach Garcia was sanctioned for "aggressive and intimidating behaviour", according to officials whose report contained accusations from the steward in question. On Wednesday the Frenchman declared his innocence and said he would fight the accusations.

"In all my career as a coach I have always carried out my job in exemplary fashion," said Garcia. "I can't accept people trying to blacken my reputation or attributing to me certain gestures that are totally against my upbringing and beliefs.

"I will fight with every means possible to defend myself from this injustice and these lies."

Roma director Mauro Baldissoni on Tuesday called the accusations "absurd" but Roma have yet to announce whether an official appeal will be made by the club.

"It is bordering on the absurd. The coach wants to lodge a complaint against this criminal steward, and he is planning to do so right now," said Baldissoni.

"We have always been co-operative, but if we have to take measures to defend ourselves we will."

Roma players were hit with missiles thrown from the crowd at the end of Sunday's game, which was marked by scuffles as players and coaching staff entered the tunnel to leave the pitch.

A late incident in the game involving Roma defender Jose Holebas and Genoa striker Diego Perotti did little to calm tensions.

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Perotti on Tuesday was handed a three-game ban for lashing out at Greek international Holebas, who was handed a one-game ban for the "insulting gesture" of showing his middle finger to Genoa fans before leaving the pitch.

Garcia will have to watch from the stands when Roma host Milan in their final league match before the winter break this weekend, and then again away to Udinese on January 6th when the league resumes.

Perotti will miss games away to Torino, at home to Atalanta and away to Inter, while Holebas will miss Sunday's home game against Milan. Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin will also miss the visit to Torino after being handed a one-game ban for his expulsion during Sunday's defeat.

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