Roma ditch ICC due to Europa League qualifiers

Roma have pulled out of this year's International Champions Cup preseason tournament (matches airing live this summer on ESPN and ESPN+) because of their "unforeseen involvement" in the early rounds of Europa League qualifying, the Serie A club said on Wednesday.

Roma said Fiorentina, recently purchased by New York Cosmos owner Rocco B. Commisso, would take their place at the ICC.

After finishing in sixth place in Serie A last season, Roma missed out on the Champions League and must now take part in the second round of the Europa League qualifiers, which start on July 25 and clash with the ICC.

Roma had been due to play three games in the United States, against Guadalajara, Arsenal and Benfica.

"We looked at every available option in order to avoid withdrawing, however, in the end the decision had to be made in light of next season's commitments," said Roma's chief executive Guido Fienga.

The ICC, a preseason friendly tournament organised by U.S.-based Relevent Sports, will feature 12 clubs this season with matches to be played in the United States, Singapore, China, England, Wales and Sweden.

Gazzetta dello Sport said Roma's absence would cost them $2 million.

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Roma coach Paulo Fonseca, appointed on Wednesday, said that the early start would be difficult.

"We might have just four weeks of preseason before the first game. So I think we will have to adapt our ideas very, very quickly," said the Portuguese, previously in charge of Shakhtar Donetsk.

"I am sure that we will build a team that the supporters can be proud of," he added. "A courageous team, an ambitious team. And if you have these ingredients then you will have a better chance of winning.

"I believe that a lot of the players have the quality to play the courageous, ambitious, attacking game that I want to implement. A style where we dominate the opponent."

Fonseca said he had fulfilled a dream by coaching Roma. "I am very ambitious and it was one of the main goals in my career to eventually coach one of the biggest teams in Europe."