Inter Milan skipper Javier Zanetti says Sunday’s derby against City rivals AC Milan will lose glamour if his club fails to overturn the partial stadium ban handed out by the league bosses as punishment for racist chanting by fans.
Serie A’s disciplinary tribunal, sitting on Tuesday, ordered the closure of the San Siro’s Curva Nord section for two matches after Inter supporters were found guilty of aiming offensive chants at Napoli fans during last weekend’s 4-2 defeat.
“Inter were right to suggest an appeal because a derby without the curvas loses a bit of its appeal,” said 40-year-old Zanneti. “I hope there is news on this before the game.”
Both teams play their matches at the San Siro, but Sunday’s encounter is classified a home game for the Neraruzzis. Many supporters of both Milan clubs have expressed their displeasure with the ruling and have opted to boycott the game in protest.
“We presented the appeal and now it is time for common sense, said Inter managing director David Ducoutioux.
“It would be very disappointing to play a derby with part of the stadium empty.
“It seems excessive to close a section of eight thousand people all because of the bad behaviour of a few hundred.”
Both teams need step up their game ahead of the Derby De La Madonina as Inter are 15 points adrift of league leaders Juventus and occupies the fifth position in the standing.
City Rivals Milan are 24 points short in the Serie A title race, 10th after winning just four times in 16 matches.
Milan have not won at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza since 19th October.