Roma sorry for Bastos 'Lazio scarf jibe'
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Roma, who are facing the prospect of three Rome derbies in a week, have apologised after new signing Michel Bastos inadvertently carried a scarf denigrating city rivals Lazio.
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After passing a medical and completing a move to the Giallorossi from Al Ain, former Lyon and Schalke wide man Bastos was presented to Roma's fans on the pitch at the Stadio Olimpico. As he did a lap around the field, he picked up a scarf and raised it above his head.
That scarf bore an insult to their Eternal City rivals.
"Bastos showed a scarf, thrown to him by the fans, unaware of the message it was conveying," Roma said via their Twitter account. "The club and Michel would like to apologise for the incident."
Bastos ha esposto una sciarpa, lanciata dai tifosi, inconsapevole del messaggio che conteneva. La Società e Michel si scusano per l'accaduto— A.S. Roma (@OfficialASRoma) January 21, 2014
The Brazilian will not face any punishment for his first act as a Roma player, which may have endeared him further to his new fans but may have stoked up tensions ahead of a potential triple-header against their cross-city rivals.
Roma set up the prospect of three Eternal City derbies in just a week after beating Juventus 1-0 to book their place in the semifinals of the Coppa Italia on Tuesday night.
The Giallorossi face Lazio in Serie A on Feb. 9 and that game could now come sandwiched in between two Coppa Italia ties, with the two-legged semifinals pencilled in for Feb. 4/5 and 11/12. Lazio face Napoli in their quarterfinal clash next Wednesday and would set up a repeat of last year's final with a win in Naples.
"I'd prefer Napoli because three derbies in a week would not be easy," Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi told RAI television. "I think we have an edge over Lazio this season, but I'd still prefer to face Napoli, even if they seem to be stronger than Lazio."
The Stadio Olimpico will at least be hosting one semifinal following Roma's elimination of Juve, and captain Francesco Totti says whoever pays a visit should not expect to return again for the final in May.
"The other teams should be more worried about facing us than we are about facing them," the 37-year-old said.