The Italian team Roma have claimed that Bayer Leverkusen would have an unfair edge in their Europa League semi-final match. Serie A have decided that the Giallorossi would play the last 18 minutes of their postponed match against Udinese on April 25.

Following a second-half collapse by Roma defender Evan Ndicka, the match against Udinese on April 14 was postponed; Serie A decided to postpone the rest of the match for Thursday.

The two sides will meet again on April 25 in Udine to finish up last weekend’s encounter. This is necessary since interrupted matches are required by law to be concluded within 15 days after they were interrupted.

But the rub is that the Rome-based side have a busy schedule next week, with matches against Bologna and Napoli. Nevertheless, they had hoped for a mid-May conclusion to the match.

Following Monday’s encounter against Bologna, the team will travel to Napoli. That game’s start time is still up in the air, though. Then, on May 2, they will play Bayer Leverkusen in the opening leg of their Europa League semifinal.

What did Roma say?

“AS Roma with its results and four consecutive European semi-finals contributed to UEFA ranking and thus five slots for Italian teams in the next edition of the Champions League”, they said in a statement.

“Despite that, [Serie A] President [Lorenzo] Casini took today an unfair decision, as it holds, against AS Roma forcing us to face Bayer 04 Leverkusen at disadvantage. This is a clear backwards step for the whole of Italian football.”

Evan Ndicka’s collapse during the game against Udinese has created this unusual situation
Evan Ndicka’s collapse during the game against Udinese has created this unusual situation

Evan Ndicka’s collapse during the game against Udinese has created this unusual situation

Daniele De Rossi’s outfit stated their intention to combat what it saw as an “unjustified hardship”. However, they fell short in outlining their strategy for doing so.

The team from the capital presently holds the fifth slot in Serie A, which is the only Champions League berth available to clubs in that category. In spite of this, they face competition for a spot in Europe’s premier club tournament from both Bologna and Napoli, both their next opponents.

Why will match not resume in full?

The match between Udinese and Roma, which was stopped on Sunday, will start again in the 72nd minute when it ultimately resumes. This is because, unlike most other European major leagues, Serie A has its own unique set of regulations.

When a match is stopped, the Premier League requires that both teams agree on a later date to repeat the whole match. This is not the case in the Italian top league. The rules of Serie A provide that when a match is suspended, play must resume from the same minute it ended.

Further, the starting lineups must remain unchanged; players who were taken off cannot return to the field. Because of this, Roma will be without Dean Huijsen and Houssem Aouar for the remainder of the encounter. When the clock struck 53 minutes, Paulo Dybala and Rick Karsdorp entered the field in their place.

Both Kingsley Ehizibue and Hassane Kamara will be unable to play for Udinese according to the regulations. In the second half, Joao Ferreira and Jordan Zemura came in as substitutes for them.

Also, all yellow cards will stand, so Roma coach Tommaso Baldanzi has to be careful. Along with the aforementioned Kamara, Udinese had Martin Payero and Jaka Bijol on the books.

Photo credits: IMAGO / Marco Canoniero : IMAGO / Goal Sports Images