ROME (Reuters) – AS Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan has been dropped from the squad after posting an Instagram video of himself drinking and smoking at a New Year’s Party.
Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco announced the decision at a pre-match press conference without being prompted by reporters.
The heavily-tattooed Belgian international, who will miss Saturday’s game at home to Atalanta, has since apologised for posting the video which showed him drinking and smoking with loud music in the background as well as fireworks going off.
“In line with the club’s code of conduct, which I fully endorse and the player himself accepts, Radja Nainggolan will not be selected for tomorrow’s game against Atalanta,” Di Francesco said.
“This is a policy that applies across the board, should anyone from AS Roma or representing Roma make certain mistakes that are no longer acceptable.
“Anyone who is wrong in a similar fashion will be punished in the same way. These are the rules. Beyond this, the thoughts and opinions really don’t interest me. I will just state again that Radja will not play tomorrow.”
Roma are fourth in Serie A, nine points adrift of leaders Napoli, but have hit a poor run of form with only one win in their last four league games.
Di Francesco added that the Atalanta game was more important than the Nainggolan incident.
“If someone else had posted the pictures, that would have been different, but the fact he did it himself makes it even worse,” added Di Francesco. “Radja knows what he’s done, he has accepted responsibility.”
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)