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Roma, Nainggolan Set To Miss Atalanta Match

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The Belgian international is set to miss this weekends clash with Atalanta after head coach Eusebio Di Francesco announced he will not be called up to the 23 man roster. 

Despite being one of Roma’s key players in the starting eleven, the club was decided to suspend Radja Nainggolan for one match, while also hitting him with a fine of 100,000 euros.

The Belgian posted a video of himself on Instagram live on new years eve where we was seen drinking alcohol, smoking, and swearing. While Nainggolan had already apologized and accepted responsibility for his actions, head coach Eusebio Di Francesco decided to tackle the issue head on in the pre-match press conference before journalists even had the opportunity to raise the question.

Di Francesco on the Nainggolan incident:

” I’ll talk about Nainggoaln right away before you ask me. With the line dictated by the club and agreed by me, which is fully supported by Nainggolan, the player won’t be called-up for the Atalanta match tomorrow. This is linked to a way of behaving which must be consitent for everyone who represents Roma. Those who make mistakes will pay for them, these things are unacceptable and anyone who steps out of line in the least will pay for it in the same way. These are unacceptable attitudes and they won’t be accepted from anyone.

Di Francesco on the use of social media:

“Social networks should be used to stay in contact with your friends and set a good example. Radja has accepted his responsibility, you think differently when you’re a coach to the way you do when you’re a player”

The daily use of social networks has become extremely common amongst not only Serie A players, but athletes all over the globe. While it is a creative and useful way to interact with others on the web, it has gotten multiple athletes into trouble, Nainggolan being the latest.

A lapse of poor judgment by Nainggolan will undoubtedly frustrate the Roma faithful as they will be missing a key player in a tough match as they head to Bergamo to face an Atalanta side fresh off their Coppa Italia win over league leaders Napoli. While the incident itself is disappointing, credit must be given to boss Eusebio Di Francesco and the Roma front office.

Having suspended Nainggolan for an important match in the league, they have set a standard amongst the club that foolishness like this will not be tolerated. The club has sent the message that those who are part of the club represent the giallorossi both on and off the field, and failure to comply with such standards will result in suitable punishment.

 

Columnist covering all things Italian Football Twitter: @alexbontorin

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