FILE - Roma’s President James Pallota
CAIRO – 11 April 2018: Roma President James Pallota is expected to pay the Italian government a fine for diving into the Piazza del Popolo fountain to celebrate his team’s qualification to the Champions League semi-final.
Roma managed to defeat Barcelona 3-0 at Olimpico Stadium in the second-leg match of the Champions League quarter-final, after the Romans had lost in the first leg 4-1.
Several photos and videos were posted Tuesday night showing Pallota jumping into the historic fountain, expressing his happiness at his team’s qualification to the semi-final, as the team hadn’t reached this stage of the tournament since 1984.
According to the laws of the capital, it is strictly forbidden to swim in the fountains, and in 2017, the fine was raised to €450 ($557) to prevent tourists from doing so.
Pallota called Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi Wednesday morning to apologize about his act, assuring that he’ll pay the fine, according to Italian media.
But this apology and the desire to pay the fine did not prevent the Union of Consumer Rights and Environmental Protection Associations from criticizing Pallota, considering what he did as "a very bad example for the millions of young football and Roma supporters all around the world, who need to be taught to respect the general heritage and historical property.”