Sunday, 26 August 2007

Pitchside brawl at Parma

Catania coach Silvio Baldini had to be dragged away kicking Parma’s Mimmo Di Carlo during incredible scenes at the Stadio Tardini.

The 2-2 draw was a tense affair off the field even more so than on it, as temperatures rose on the touchline five minutes from time.

Catania boss Baldini was sent off for dissent, but before leaving the field of play engaged in a row with Di Carlo and kicked out at the Parma boss.

Baldini faces a lengthy touchline ban for his unprofessional behaviour. He did not meet with the Press after the game.

"Baldini should be ashamed of himself," said Parma patron Tommaso Ghirardi. "If he was my coach, I’d fire him on the spot. In 10 years of football I have never seen anything like it. If we don’t behave appropriately, how can we expect the fans to?"

The Sicilian club insisted it had no intention of firing Baldini – who was returning to the Tardini after the Gialloblu had sacked him in 2004.

"Well he’s not the Catania President, I am," said Antonio Pulvirenti. "I don’t think it was such an extreme gesture. Clearly it wasn’t nice either, but he was provoked. Our Coach was the first person to admit it was a wrong thing to do. There’s no need to exaggerate.

"While Baldini was giving the final instructions to his squad before walking away, the Parma Coach went up to him. It was not his job to do so and you saw the reaction that prompted. It wasn’t right, but we are men and sometimes these things can happen."

Pulvirenti did try to calm the waters by going to apologise personally to Di Carlo after the final whistle. "We are men of sport. These are things that should not happen, but let us end the controversy here."

Source: C4 Football Italia

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