Roma president slams VAR after Champions League exit

Roma's Champions League exit at the hands of Porto left its president fuming about the way VAR was used.

Roma defender Aleksandar Kolarov following his team's defeat to Porto in the Champions League.   -  Getty Images

Roma president James Pallotta claimed his side was "robbed" by VAR in its Champions League defeat to Porto, adding "I'm tired of this c**p."

The Serie A side was beaten 3-1 on Wednesday after extra time of the second leg of its last-16 tie, consigning it to a 4-3 aggregate defeat. The decisive goal came in the 117th minute, when Alex Telles scored from the penalty spot after Alessandro Florenzi was judged to have pulled Fernando's shirt following a VAR review.

Before full-time, though, Patrik Schick appeared to be caught by Moussa Marega in the Porto box only for referee Cuneyt Cakir to decline to check the VAR monitor.

READ | Porto 3 Roma 1 (aet, 4-3 agg): Telles hits last-gasp winner after VAR drama

Roma was beaten 7-6 on aggregate by Liverpool in last season's semifinal and was aggrieved not to be given two penalties in its 4-2 second-leg win. And Pallotta, referring to that disappointment, stated on Wednesday that he has had enough of what he considers to be unjust decisions.

"Last year we asked for VAR in the Champions League because we got screwed in the semifinal and tonight, they've got VAR and we still get robbed," he said via Roma's Twitter account.

"Patrik Schick was clearly clipped in the box, VAR shows it, and nothing is given. I'm tired of this c**p. I give up."

Tiquinho Soares put Porto ahead in Portugal before Daniele De Rossi levelled from the penalty spot, but Marega's 52nd-minute goal ultimately forced extra time. De Rossi felt the challenge on Schick was a clear penalty, but he remains convinced VAR is progressing well.

"It's a penalty," he told Sky Sport Italia. "It's remarkable, because I said last season we'd be in the final if there was VAR against Liverpool, yet here we are again.

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"It's human error, though. It's nothing to do with the technology. It's the same as Fiorentina-Inter - there was an error from the referees in reviewing the footage. But I remain convinced VAR will be improved and perfected as time goes on."

The result has cast further doubt on the future of Roma head coach Eusebio Di Francesco, who did not speak to the media after the match.

"Di Francesco will always be the coach who took Roma to the Champions League semifinals after who knows how many years, and he deserves credit for that," said De Rossi. "I know this isn't our best season and the coach's job will always be linked to results."

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