Roma owner Jim Pallotta has insisted that stars such as Daniele De Rossi, Kostas Manolas, Aleksandar Kolarov and Edin Dzeko did not conspire to get former coach Eusebio Di Francesco sacked.The 49-year-old lost his job after crashing out of the Champions League at the hands of Porto and reports on Thursday suggested that a group of senior players had pushed for backroom changes amid much infighting.However, Pallotta has moved to deny these rumours and even claimed that De Rossi had lobbied for Di Francesco to be left in charge for the remainder of the season prior to his dismissal in March. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “Some aspects of that article made Daniele De Rossi look bad, which is not fair because Daniele has been a warrior for Roma for 18 years. He deserves respect and I have always respected him,” he wrote in an open letter to fans on the club’s official website.”The notion that Daniele was out to get Eusebio Di Francesco sacked is 100% false from all of my conversations with him.”In fact, with 12 games left in the season, I had a phone conversation with Daniele and he personally asked me to keep the coach until the end of the season. So if anyone is suggesting that he was asking for Di Francesco to be sacked, that couldn’t be further from the truth.”If not De Rossi, did Dzeko, Manolas or Kolarov ask for the coach to be sacked? No. I’ve never heard any of those players say that they wanted us to sack Di Francesco. They never came to me either directly or indirectly.””To Roma fans everywhere,”I’ve stayed silent for the last few weeks but there are some things that I feel I need to address…” #ASRomahttps://t.co/ezOzvlKH5o— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 31, 2019De Rossi will be leaving Roma 18 years after making his professional debut for the club in the off-season and Pallotta acknowledged that the club legend was badly treated, with regards to assurances over his place in the team given at the start of the season.”We may have had some differences of opinion on how his playing career at Roma has ended but I’m not going to get into that in the public domain; that’s between Daniele and myself,” he wrote.”Daniele was emotional but he’s emotional because he cares and has cared about Roma forever. He plays with his heart – we’ve seen it for 18 years with Roma.”Was he upset that someone was being brought in to play in his position, as stated in the article? Yes, he was – but that was because a day before he was told by [former sporting director] Monchi that we weren’t bringing in somebody.”Roma finished the 2018-19 Serie A season in sixth place, three points behind Atalanta and Inter, who claimed the last two Champions League places.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliates the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Sri Lankan Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) have called for more dialogue and discussion on improving working conditions for journalists in Sri Lanka if the country is to rebuild a strong, robust and professional media industry in the country.The IFJ joined the International Media Assessment Mission to Sri Lanka from May 8 to 14 to follow-up on its recent assessments of media freedom situation since the January 8 presidential election. During discussions with government officials, the Right to Information Act (RTI) was also vigorously discussed. The IFJ said: “There is an urgent and present need to build the capacity of journalists and their right to advocate as an industry on working conditions as well as on press freedom issues in the North and East provinces. Importantly, efforts need to be made to bring journalists and their employers together to discuss and engage on the future of the industry.” Increased training opportunities to support professional and ethical journalism and improved understanding and dialogue with media employers on journalists’ right to form were two of the key strategies highlighted by FMM and SLWJA as well as the long-awaited RTI Act.The government overwhelmingly supported the RTI Act and provided the draft law to the mission. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the Act would be presented following the general elections, which legally must be held in Sri Lanka before April 2016. The IFJ said: “We join the International Media Assessment Mission in welcoming the changes made by the government to ensure that media freedom has opened up across Sri Lanka. But throughout this latest mission we again heard of challenges for journalists including poor working conditions and pay scales and barriers being put in front of journalists when it comes to advocating on their rights.”“The IFJ joins FMM and SLWJA in highlighting these issues and finding solutions for a stronger, more vibrant media industry in the country as the government takes on its media reform agenda.”Last week’s mission follows an earlier International Media Solidarity Delegation to the country in March organised by FMM in cooperation with the IFJ, the International Press Institute and IFEX. · A broad, multi-stakeholder consultation should be held to identify needs in the area of professionalization of journalists and media workers, and this should be followed up by a series of concrete actions to deliver on those needs. While both FMM and SLWJA said the government has made a number of important positive steps in its media reform agenda; further work was still urgently needed to ensure the media industry in Sri Lanka is to grow and thrive. The IFJ affiliates particularly highlighted some of the obstacles preventing journalists from joining and being active in unions and said further support was needed for journalists in exile trying to return. The IFJ endorsed the issues raised by its affiliates and in its meetings with government. In the mission statement, a number of recommendations were presented, including:· An independent Commission of Inquiry should be created with a mandate and adequate powers to investigate past killings of, threats to, disappearances of and other attacks on journalists, media workers and media outlets, with a view to ensuring that those responsible are prosecuted and that appropriate compensation is paid to the victims and their families.· Media owners should recognise and support journalists’ and media workers’ right to form unions to negotiate and advocate on behalf of their members.