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Pallotta fined for jumping into Rome fountain

Posted By: Aveek Chakraborty
James Pallotta

Kolkata, April 13: The football world was left stunned when an underdog AS Roma side overturned a 1-3 deficit from the first leg to make it to the Champions League semifinal by defeating an impressive Barcelona side 3-0 this week at home.

The players, coaching staff and all the members of the Serie A side celebrated wildly following one of their biggest wins.

And following the trend was the Italian club's American president James Pallotta.

A video has gone viral which showed Pallotta, surrounded by a crowd of flag-waving fans, jumping into the fountain at the Piazza del Popolo – the 'People’s Square’ to celebrate the victory.

Later, Pallotta found himself in hot water as City ordinances imposed a €450 fine for jumping into a historic fountain.

But soon after the incident, the businessman issued an apology and declared to pay not just the fine, but also offered €230,000 (£200,548) to restore a separate city fountain.

"I want to thank the mayor for my well-deserved fountain fine of €450," he said.

"I certainly got caught up in the excitement. I think it was a great night for all of us in Rome, but I also don't want to encourage other people to jump into fountains -- except if they want to fix the fountain!

"So I've decided that I think it would be a great personal gesture to fix the fountain in front of the Pantheon and so I'm going to donate €230,000 to it. I try not to encourage people -- I love this city, and if somebody does want to jump in it, fix the fountain."

City Mayor Virginia Raggi also confirmed the news and suggested he got a call from the club president and accepted the apology from him.

"We thank chairman Pallotta for his generosity after his dive," said Rome mayor Raggi following a meeting with the US businessman, who has been at the helm of the Serie A club since 2012.

"He has apologised. In a moment of exuberance he carried out this action, but he realises the importance of the example he has given, and he'll clearly pay the fine," Raggi added.

Roma have joined Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the last four of Champions League and the club has made it to the semifinal of the premier European competition after a gap of 34 years.

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    Story first published: Friday, April 13, 2018, 14:27 [IST]
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