Serie A: Roma's Bryan Cristante receives ban for blasphemy after scoring own goal

  • Kat Lucas

It couldn’t be much tighter at the top of Serie A. 

Roma sit in sixth place, but are just three points behind second-placed Inter Milan thanks to Sunday’s 5-1 win away to Bologna. 

All of the Giallorossi’s goals came in the first half, Andrea Poli opening the scoring for them when he put the ball into his own net. 

The visitors quickly eased into a three-goal lead, but that was followed by another own goal – this time from Roma’s Bryan Cristante. His team went on to ease to victory, but his mishap has arguably had even more severe consequences. 

The 25-year-old now finds himself slapped with a one-match ban for blasphemy after TV cameras picked up him using an offensive expression. 

In 2010, the Italian FA decided to clamp down on players and coaches using God’s name in vain. 

“The Sports Judge received a formal report from the Federal Prosecutor regarding the conduct of the player Bryan Cristante,” a statement from the Disciplinary Commission said, per Football Italia. 

“[Cristante] pronounced a blasphemous expression at the 23rd minute of the first half.

“The relative TV images acquired and examined, with full technical and documentary guarantee; considering that the player in question was clearly framed by the TV footage while uttering a blasphemous expression, identifiable and audible without margins of reasonable doubt.”

Fast-forward to 1:29 of the video below to see the own goal: 

There is precedent for Cristante’s suspension, too. 

Udinese midfielder Rolando Mandragora was penalised for a similar incident in 2018, and a year later Sassuolo’s Francesco Magnanelli and Parma’s Matteo Scozzarella were also banned. 

Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini also received the same punishment for being caught shouting “God is a pig!” when things weren’t going his way. 

Fortunately for Cristante, his own goal didn’t harm Roma’s chances as goals from Edin Dzeko, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Jordan Veretout, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan ensured Paulo Fonseca’s men cruised to three points. 

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