Mauro Icardi could be stripped of the Inter Milan captaincy following comments made about the club’s fans in his autobiography.
The striker had written that he was “acclaimed as a hero” in the dressing room after a confrontation with “one of the fan leaders” in 2015.
The comments in his book have angered Inter ultras, who have accused him of telling “lies” in a lengthy statement.
The 23-year-old attempted to placate the fans with a statement of his own on social media, but he was jeered as he walked out ahead of Inter’s 2-1 defeat to Cagliari on Sunday and was greeted by insulting banners about him in the San Siro.
Icardi — who signed a new five-year contract this month — went on to miss a penalty during the Serie A clash, with Inter fans cheering as he sent his effort wide of the target.
Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti said the club would take action over his comments and hinted they could even strip Icardi of the captaincy.
“Will we be taking action? Unfortunately yes. The fans are the most important element, they accompany us and we all should respect them,” Zanetti told Mediaset Premium. “We cannot accept this behaviour from a person who works for our club. After this match we will talk things over and see what happens.
“Will we remove the captain’s armband? We’ll talk about it later, but this is an issue not just for Icardi, but for everyone who is part of the club. Behaviour must be in line with the values of the history of Inter.
“Nobody expected this outburst, as you know we are concentrated on other objectives, but Inter stands beyond any individual person and we really could’ve done without this incident ahead of an important match.
“Unfortunately social media can be used in a negative fashion and we must safeguard the club. Every individual who works for Inter must be very careful on social media: he can write anything on his private life, but cannot damage the history of this club.”
Inter boss Frank de Boer added: “I don’t know what was going through Icardi’s mind [with the penalty], but normally he is a player who remains very calm in these situations. We’ll think about the incident tomorrow, as we work for the greater good and that means the fans too.”
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Culled from ESPNFC