Cagliari v Roma postponed

  • Last Updated: September 23 2012, 17:07 BST

Sunday's Serie A match between Cagliari and Roma has been called off after the Sardinian club's president defied local authority orders to exclude fans from their new stadium.

Cagliari played Atalanta at an empty stadium

The Rossoblu were due to face Roma behind closed doors at their new Is Arenas base after the new stadium once again failed to meet the required safety standards.

But in a statement issued on Saturday night, Cagliari club president Massimo Cellino instructed season-ticket holders to flock to Quartu Sant'Elena regardless, prompting an emergency overnight meeting between the Cagliari Prefecture and local police.

The statement on cagliaricalcio.net read: "Cagliari, represented by president Massimo Cellino and everyone who works for the club, sees a difficult future ahead thanks to the bureaucratic problems and a lack of interest shown by the authorities.

"We invite all fans with season tickets to come to the stadium for the Cagliari-Roma match in an ordered and civilised manner.

"Cagliari and the engineers consider the structure to be secure.

"This move is peaceful but is borne out of pain and frustration of having to defend our right to exist."

But after Saturday night's crisis talks, the Cagliari Prefecture and the Italian Football Federation issued a statement confirming the postponement, and possible forfeiture, of Sunday's tie.

It read: "This decision was forced by the urgent and serious need to prevent any form of public disorder caused by the irrational and ill-advised action of the Cagliari president."

Zdenek Zeman's Roma had already arrived in Sardinia in preparation for the game and could be awarded a 3-0 victory for the disruption.

Article 17 of Federcalcio, the rules that govern Italian football, explains: "Clubs are responsible for the fact that any acts interrupting the smooth running of a game can be punished with the loss of that match with a scoreline of 0-3 awarded."

Cagliari moved out of their former Stadio Sant'Elia home in March, playing the remaining home games of the 2011/12 season at Trieste's Stadio Nereo Rocco, nearly 700 miles away from the Sardinian capital.

The current campaign has already seen the Rossoblu play a domestic game behind closed doors, with Atalanta earning a 1-1 draw at an empty Is Arenas on September 2.