Though there were no fans permitted at Saturday’s derby between Roma and Lazio, the game was still a sellout.
How could that be? The answer comes in the form of Roma’s “Inside the Derby” initiative, which saw 46,000 tickets sold for the match.
Roma sold their fans virtual tickets for €2, with all proceeds going to the club’s Roma Cares charity.
What was said?
“A sold-out Stadio Olimpico and a special choreography for the fans, by the fans,” read a statement from Roma. “This is the exceptional result of the ‘Inside the Derby’ initiative launched by AS Roma for the derby on Saturday May 15.
“Throughout the week, the club has allowed its fans to actively participate in the choreography created in the Curva Sud. Thanks to the purchase of a virtual ticket, the proceeds of which were entirely donated to the Roma Cares charity foundation, Giallorossi fans were able to contribute to colouring a stadium that would otherwise be empty due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“No distance can dampen the love of the fans, however. Roma supporters enthusiastically embraced the initiative launched by the club. With 46,036 tickets sold, ‘Inside the Derby’ became the most successful virtual ticketing campaign among the five major European leagues.
“In this way, AS Roma wanted to reiterate its desire to support football that has the fans at heart.”
What happened in the game?
Roma won the match 2-0 against their city rivals, thanks to goals on either side of the half from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pedro.
The result saw Roma maintain their seventh-place position in Serie A, six points behind Lazio who are in sixth place.