An ugly situation has arisen at Inter Milan in the wake of a disappointing loss to Cagliari last weekend.
Following the release of club captain Mauro Icardi's book, in which he detailed an exchange of words with a leader of the Inter ultras, the supporters group are seriously unimpressed and issued a statement themselves demanding that Icardi be stripped of the captaincy.
This is what Icardi said in his autobiography:
The fans start to shout: they call us to come over to their section. I find the courage to face them, along with Guarin.
As I get closer, I receive insults and abuse of every kind. Attached to the netting is a kid who calls me: he wants my shirt.
Considering his age, he could be my son: I take off my shirt and shorts and throw them to him, as a gift. This kid is in seventh heaven and I am pleased to see him so happy.
A head of the ultras jumps on him to take away the shirt and throws it back at me. This is when I start insulting him: ‘Piece of shit, you are acting all arrogant with a little kid to show off to the rest of the curva? Do you think you’re hard?’
In the locker room I am acclaimed as a hero, because nobody had ever faced off that way with one of the fan leaders.
This did not go down well with the ultras at all, but after reading on and hearing the player claim that if he has to face the ulreas he will bring "100 criminals from Argentina" to kill them, it made things even worse. They wasted no time in releasing an explosive statement claiming that the Argentinian striker was finished with Inter as far as they were concerned:
Icardi, as far as we are concerned, you’re finished. Why such squalid fiction? We are horrified, that book is ridiculous and with regards to that incident there are only lies.
We merely ask for effort and honesty, while he depicts us as threatening figures who gravitate around the club asking for who knows what, so evidently something is wired wrong in his head.
An individual like this does not deserve the captain’s armband.
We don’t want to go back over that day when his own teammates hauled him back by the neck to demand a less arrogant attitude towards the Inter population.
It is pathetic to read such things talking about us. In his book he writes: ‘I am ready to face them one by one. How many are there? 50, 100, 200? OK, record my message and let him listen: I’ll bring 100 criminals from Argentina who’ll kill them where they stand, then we’ll see.’
He talks about helping little kids, then invents an incident that never happened to make himself seem superior to us, as if it weren’t obvious to all that we are the only Curva that helps kids design the choreography in the stands.
There are no more excuses. We considered him young, a bit of an idiot (like many), but deep down a good lad. Instead this is an individual who cannot be allowed to wear the Inter armband. It’s not for us, but Inter simply don’t deserve this.
You are finished with us. You’re done. TAKE THE ARMBAND OFF, YOU CLOWN. Yes, that is what we demand.
Well, they are not going to be happy to learn that Mauro Icardi will remain as club captain. Inter issued a statement to counter the ultras' statement and claimed that while he will be sanctioned by the club, he will retain the captaincy via Inter.it:
They won't be happy.
A banner was revealed before Inter's 2-1 loss to Cagliari that read; 'You are not a man… You are not a captain… You are just a vile piece of shit.'
The club are standing by their player, but Italian ultras are extremely powerful and it remains to be seen whether or not Icardi will hold onto the armband long-term.
A very ugly, and avoidable, situation all things considered.