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Icardi decision imminent – Inter director Ausilio

Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio said the Serie A club are set make a decision on whether to strip embattled skipper Mauro Icardi of the captaincy.

Icardi’s future is up in the air after he incurred the wrath of Inter’s biggest group of ultras, following comments made in his autobiography in which he wrote he had become a “hero” for standing up to one of their leaders.

The incident relates to a 3-1 Serie A defeat at Sassuolo last season when Icardi had his shirt thrown back at him by supporters, leading to a confrontation between the two.

Representatives from the ‘Curva Nord’ then declared Icardi’s career “finished” in a response on Sunday before they jeered him and displayed a banner criticising the Argentinean, who missed a penalty during the 2-1 loss to Cagliari.

And after vice-president Javier Zanetti hinted that Icardi could lose the armband as the situation threatens to spiral out of control, Ausilio said: “The whole club agrees with Zanetti.

“We had an important match today and we all needed to be focused on Cagliari. Tomorrow [Monday] we’ll have a chance to look at it with the player and analyse everything that has happened with a cool head.

“I don’t think we saw Icardi at his best today. It’s not easy to deal with certain kinds of pressure, especially when you’re a 23-year-old lad.

“We’ll protect the team and the club so that we’re in the best shape possible for our matches. We need to pull through a tough sporting situation and think only of the good of Inter.”

Comments from Ausilio and Zanetti came as Icardi used social media to respond to the growing anger among supporters.

In a letter to fans posted on Instagram prior to Inter’s defeat on Sunday, Icardi wrote: “Dear Curva Nord, I am surprised and disappointed. I am surprised because I simply referred to the fact I lost my temper in the heat of the moment, combined with the adrenaline of the match and the bad moment the team was going through.

“I simply wanted to sum up the atmosphere of that incident. It’s true that in the book I spat out some exaggerated phrases [and the verb spat gives a good idea of how inopportune my reaction was].

“As for the issue of getting assassins from Argentina, as people continued to tell me that I would’ve found some hooligans under my house [note: not the Curva Nord members, but hooligans], I said that phrase. In the biography I also wrote that ‘I used threatening words towards the fans and I shouldn’t have done that.’

“I am disappointed. Disappointed with the chaos that has been brought up. I simply gave my recollection of an incident. If I had the slightest brain in my skull, I certainly wouldn’t have risked offending the curva. I didn’t want to offend or disrespect anyone.

“The captain’s armband represents the realisation of my childhood dreams, the joy that I gave first of all to my family and then to myself.

“You are the ones who I look out for every Sunday after scoring a goal, it is your embrace I seek first, because I love Inter.

“Imminently I will step on to the field, so I can’t go on any more. I hope you understood how important you are for me and how much respect and love I have for you, even if you decide to jeer me.

“I ask you just one thing as captain: stay close to Inter, as you always have done, because my team-mates and I need you. With affection, Mauro.”

Mon 17 Oct, 2016
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