Inter Milan reverse tour decision

BRITISH Sports minister Richard Caborn declared yesterday “the games must go on” after persuading Inter Milan not to cancel their pre-season tour of England over security fears.

The Italian giants had been branded as “cowards” for pulling out of their four-game tour and depriving Leicester, Norwich, Crystal Palace and Portsmouth of a money-spinning fixture.

The four clubs asked Caborn to help mediate the situation and his message to Italian sports minister Mario Pescante was unequivocal - “we make no concessions to terrorists.”

And Inter yesterday flew into England after being assured by Pescante and Franco Carraro, president of Italian football’s governing body, that there are no security concerns surrounding the trip.

“It is very important that life goes on and sport is at the forefront of that,” Caborn said. “We have had the Grand Prix athletics and the cricket both in London this weekend.

“Mario understood it is very important not to concede any ground to terrorists. He made strong representations through the Italian FA and Inter Milan has responded accordingly.”

Norwich’s chief executive Neil Doncaster accused Inter of “giving in to terrorists” and Palace chairman Simon Jordan described them as “cowardly.”

But the Italians insisted yesterday it was one big “misunderstanding” and they had taken their initial stance so as not to “further stretch the already severely occupied security services.”

Caborn put their fears down to a distortion of the true facts through the media.

“People get a slightly distorted view through the media. Inter are playing Leicester, Norwich, Portsmouth and Crystal Palace, all outside the centre of London.”

Inter play Leicester at the Walkers Stadium tonight, Palace on Wednesday and Norwich on Friday night at Carrow Road before rounding off their brief tour at Portsmouth a week today.

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