Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Inter face UEFA expulsion?

Inter could be in for European expulsion after the riot that marred their exit at the Mestalla, as more details are emerging on what happened.

The Nerazzurri were already on a warning from UEFA after the 2005 derby with Milan was abandoned due to the fans throwing flares on to the pitch, one of which struck Milan goalkeeper Nelson Dida.

They had to play their first four home games behind closed doors this season and were handed a record £132,000 fine, but this latest incident will bring back calls for the club to be expelled from European competition.

It is still not entirely clear what started the melee in Valencia, but at the final whistle Nicolas Burdisso entered into an argument with Carlos Marchena.

As teammates were pulling them apart, David Navarro came off the bench and threw a punch at Burdisso that fractured the Argentine’s nose.

This sparked a furious reaction, as Julio Cruz, Ivan Cordoba and Douglas Maicon chased Navarro across the pitch.

He was spotted on camera running back down the tunnel with a smile on his face and this further angered the Nerazzurri players.

Television pictures show that the brawl continued inside the arena, as Francesco Toldo dived in to the Valencia dressing room to reach Navarro and Esteban Cambiasso and Luis Figo tried to force their way in after him.

The security forces had to intervene and coach Roberto Mancini was seen trying to lead his men away, but the situation had degenerated to such a degree that there was little he could do.

After the chaos had died down, Inter confirm that Valencia director of sport Amedeo Carboni went to personally offer his apology to his Nerazzurri counterpart Ernesto Paolillo for Navarro’s behaviour.

Inter President Massimo Moratti has told the media that a UEFA representative went into the Inter dressing room to speak with Burdisso and evaluate the situation.

Thankfully, there was no crowd trouble between fans, but the Inter team bus was pelted with rocks as it parked outside the Mestalla.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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