Inter refused to play Juventus on Monday, says Serie A president

Juventus will now host Inter in May, though Lega Serie A saw a proposal to stage the game on Monday rejected by the Nerazzurri.

Published : Mar 01, 2020 19:29 IST

The spread of the coronavirus in Italy has caused Serie A games to be postponed.
The spread of the coronavirus in Italy has caused Serie A games to be postponed.

The spread of the coronavirus in Italy has caused Serie A games to be postponed.

Inter "categorically refused" a proposal to play Juventus on Monday with a crowd present, according to Lega Serie A president Paolo Dal Pino.

The derby d'Italia, scheduled to take place behind closed doors on Sunday, was one of five top-flight fixtures to be postponed in Italy due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Instead, the games will be played on May 13, meaning the Coppa Italia final – which the Nerazzurri could yet be involved in – has been pushed back to May 20.

Inter director Beppe Marotta criticised the timing of the decision taken by officials, saying the championship had been "distorted" while raising concerns over whether upcoming domestic fixtures will go ahead.

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"Is the league at risk of not ending? Yes, if more matches were to be postponed, then yes. And then I ask myself - why was the Juve-Inter date decided before the Inter-Sampdoria date? On what basis?" Marotta said to La Gazzetta dello Sport .

"The league is distorted. It is altered in its balance. Just think of the injuries and disqualifications. And then there is the psychological aspect. Again, Inter are damaged, our schedule in May is incredible."

Speaking to the same outlet, Dal Pino revealed how the Lega Serie A had offered to push back the derby by 24 hours, allowing supporters to watch proceedings at the Allianz Stadium, but that plan was rejected by Inter.

"On Friday, CEO [Luigi] De Siervo and I proposed to Inter the idea of moving the game with Juventus to Monday evening so that it could be played with a crowd present," Dal Pino told  La Gazzetta dello Sport.

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"Inter categorically refused to take the field, so they should take responsibility for their decisions and not talk of unsporting situations or a distorted league.

"Marotta represents the needs of Inter, I have to look after the general interests of an entire Serie A division, which unfortunately means daily conflicts of interests tied to each and every club.

"My job is to promote Italian football and its image to the world, so transmitting games in empty stadiums would’ve been a terrible calling card for the country.

"The decision was down to me, but the clubs involved were contacted by telephone, so we know that they all had positions which were difficult to reconcile."

Inter is due to play Napoli on Thursday in the second leg of its Coppa Italia semifinal, having lost the first meeting 1-0 at San Siro.

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