Eden Dzeko appears to spit at referee as former Manchester City striker is sent off during Roma’s 7-1 defeat by Fiorentina

The 32-year-old is facing a lengthy ban after video footage appeared to show him spitting twards referee Gianluca Manganiello

Jack de Menezes
Thursday 31 January 2019 11:21
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Footballer Edin Dzeko appears to spit at referee during Coppa Italia semi-finals before being sent off

AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko is facing a lengthy ban from football after he appeared to spit towards a referee during the club’s 7-1 Coppa Italia thrashing by Fiorentina.

The former Manchester City striker was shown a red card by referee Gianluca Manganiello, but video footage appeared to show the Bosnia international spitting at the official just before the card was produced.

Video footage and images will be used to review the incident, although the 32-year-old will face a ban regardless for the sending off as although Roma’s cup campaign came to an end in the quarter-finals, the Italian Football Federation carries over the suspension to Serie A.

The reasons for the dismissal will be confirmed by Manganiello in his report, but Dzeko faces an extension on the automatic three-match ban if he is found guilty of spitting.

Roma boss Eusebio Di Francesco issued a statement on personally apologise for the “shameful performance”, which saw the capital club suffer their worst defeat since suffering the same result against Bayern Munich in October 2014.

"I think any sort of comment would be superfluous, whether it be technical or tactical,” Di Francesco said. “All I can do is apologise. It was a terrible performance from every point of view."

Asked whether he would quit after the humbling defeat: "Resignation? Let's leave that sort of talk aside, the thought has never entered my mind.

Edin Dzeko appeared to spit at referee Gianluca Manganiello
Dzeko was shown a red card by Manganiello
Dzeko remonstrated with Manganiello before leaving the pitch

"I want to get inside the lads' heads and understand what is going on," Di Francesco added.

"A few games back people thought the squad had bounced back, and instead we collapsed again too easily.

"The main thing is the mentality, that ability to keep battling away in games even when things are going wrong – to stay together when things are going badly, not having the wrong attitude during the game.

"You lose and you win together. This is what hurts most right after this game."

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