UEFA has provisionally suspended both Bodo/Glimt head coach Kjetil Knutsen and Roma goalkeeping, Nuno Santos, following an incident during last Thursday’s Europa Conference League quarter-final between the two sides.
They are under investigation for “conduct (which) is insulting or otherwise violates the basic rules of decent conduct” and face suspension of up to five UEFA competition matches.
While the pair await UEFA’s final judgment, Knutsen and Santos will miss the second leg on April 14. The winner of the quarter-final will face either Leicester City or PSV Eindhoven.
Hugo Vetlesen scored a late winner in Bodo/Glimt’s 2-1 victory, after which a dispute originated in the tunnel.
After the game, Lorenzo Pellegrini insinuated Knutsen of attacking former Leeds goalkeeper Santos, saying: “The dressing rooms are opposite. Knutsen started saying something to our goalkeeping coach and then shot him.
“It was an unpleasant incident for the competition and for fair play. Of course, I’m disappointed because we came here with respect, but incidents like this insult Roma and the competition. It’s shameful.”
Bodo/Glimt claimed that Santos was the provocateur, alleging to the police that he committed “physical violence” against manager Knutsen.
Their statement noted: “The goalkeeping coach of Roma positioned himself illegally outside the coaching staff, where he continuously verbally and gesturing harassed Knutsen.” Knutsen added:
“Everything culminated in a physical attack on me in the player tunnel. Usually, I’m so by nature that I would withdraw. However, in this case, I was physically attacked. He grabbed me by the neck and pushed me into the wall. It is only natural that I then had to defend myself.”
Both parties will not be allowed to coach in UEFA competitions until a final decision is reached by the UEFA governing body.