The president of Serie A side Roma, James Pallotta, has hit back at Lazio counterpart Claudio Lotito in a row over a ‘selfie’ picture taken by Francesco Totti during the sides’ 2-2 derby draw on Sunday.
Lotito on Monday claimed Roma, who sit three points behind champions and leaders Juventus, have no chance of winning this year’s scudetto and hit out at Roma captain Totti for an “inappropriate” ‘selfie’ during the game.
But Pallotta, one of three Americans who bought a major share in the Serie A giants in August 2012, retorted on Twitter: “It’s a pity Lotito commented on Francesco’s selfie in this way: I would have almost preferred a selfie with his face.”
Totti celebrated taking his career league tally to 239, 35 short of the all-time record held by Silvio Piola (274), as well as setting a new record of scoring 11 goals in the city derby by taking a picture of himself with a mobile telephone handed to him by a coaching assistant.
Although it created hype on social media around the world, Lotito said Totti’s gesture was misplaced.
“It would have made sense after the game, not during it. My captain would never have done the same,” he said.
Lotito, speaking on Rai Radio2, also said he would “bet my presidency” of the capital club that Roma would not win the scudetto this year.
Roma’s sporting director Mauro Baldissoni delivered a wry retort to Lazio, whose captain Stefano Mauri served a six-month ban last year for his alleged involvement in a match-fixing scandal.
“Given that Lazio are the betting experts, if Lotito wagers his presidency there’s a risk that the supporters of Lazio will also end up supporting us,” said Baldissoni.
Lazio sit third in Serie A, 13 points behind Juventus and nine adrift of Roma but are firmly in contention for one of the league’s three Champions League qualifying spots. – Agence France-Presse