Icardi misses penalty as Cagliari stun In­ter

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

In­ter Mi­lan striker Mauro Icardi could be stripped of the club cap­taincy after in­cens­ing the club’s hard­line fan base with com­ments in a re­cently pub­lished au­to­bi­og­ra­phy.

“We will take mea­sures,” In­ter’s vi­cepres­i­dent and leg­endary for­mer cap­tain Javier Zanetti said amid a grow­ing row sur­round­ing the Ar­gentina in­ter­na­tional yes­ter­day.

“The fans are cru­cial for us and ev­ery­one should re­spect them.” Icardi may be In­ter’s main source of goals, but com­ments in his re­cently-pub­lished bi­og­ra­phy ‘Sem­pre Avanti, la mia sto­ria seg­reta’ (For­ever on­wards, my se­cret story) prompted the ‘ul­tra’ fans who usu­ally oc­cupy the Curva Nord (North End) of the club’s shared San Siro ground to de­mand he be stripped of the cap­taincy.

It fol­lowed Icardi’s de­scrip­tion in his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy of a post-match al­ter­ca­tion with ‘ul­tra’ sup­port­ers fol­low­ing a 3-1 de­feat at Sas­suolo in Fe­bru­ary 2015.

Icardi claims in the ac­count he openly chal­lenged ul­tra sup­port­ers after they snatched the shirt and shorts he had of­fered to a young In­ter sup­porter and threw them back in his face.

Icardi said he was “hailed a hero” in the dress­ing room after the in­ci­dent, claim­ing he had re­minded the irate fans that he had “grown up in one of the ar­eas of South Amer­ica with the big­gest crime rates”.

Icardi added: “How many are there (fans)? Fifty? One hun­dred? Two hun­dred? Ok, I will bring over 100 crim­i­nals from Ar­gentina and they will kill them on the spot. Then we’ll see.”

Curva Nord fans dis­missed Icardi’s ac­count of the events and were so in­censed they is­sued a state­ment to the Ital­ian me­dia yes­ter­day morn­ing. “Why such wretched fic­tion? We are shocked, this book is ridicu­lous and with re­gard to that in­ci­dent it’s all lies,” said the state­ment. “No more ex­cuses. We con­sid­ered him young, a bit daft (like many play­ers), but deep down a de­cent lad. In­stead, we have some­one who should not be al­lowed to wear the In­ter arm­band.

“In­ter sim­ply don’t de­serve this. For us, you are fin­ished. TAKE THE ARM­BAND OFF, YOU CLOWN.”

De­spite be­ing In­ter’s star man, the Serie A gi­ants could give in to fans’ de­mands. New In­ter coach Frank De Boer re­cently re­acted to Marcelo Bro­zovic’s so­cial me­dia gaffe by sidelin­ing the Croa­tia mid­fielder for sev­eral games. And Icardi could soon fol­low suit, ac­cord­ing to Zanetti, a for­mer Ar­gentina in­ter­na­tional who played over 600 games for In­ter. From 1999 to his re­tire­ment in 2014, Zanetti wore the black arm­band and came to be known as ‘Il Cap­i­tano’. Zanetti added: “We can­not ac­cept this kind of be­hav­iour from an em­ployee of our club. After this match we will talk things over and see what hap­pens.”

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