• Inter chairman Zhang fined after calling Serie A chief 'clown' for handling of coronavirus
    11:28 | 22/09/2020

    The Chinese businessman was punished for an Instagram rant regarding the decision to play a vital match against Juventus in March.

    Photo by Getty Images

    Inter chairman Steven Zhang has been handed a fine by the Italian football federation for his criticism of Serie A president Paolo Dal Pino over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.

    Zhang was highly critical of Serie A’s decision to continue matches in March, calling out Dal Pino specifically for disregarding public health.

    At the time, the league had announced that Inter’s clash with Juventus, a potential title-decider, would be played on March 8 in what turned out to be the last round of fixtures before the league temporarily shut down due to the coronavirus.

    Zhang wrote on his Instagram story: “Playing around the calendar and always putting the public health as secondary consideration.

    “You are probably the biggest and darkest clown I have ever seen. 24 hours? 48 hours? 7 days? And what else? What’s your next step?

    “And now you speak about sportsmanship and fair competition?

    “How about we don’t protect our players or coaches and ask them to play for you 24/7 non-stop?

    “Yes, I’m speaking to you. Our Lega President Paolo Dal Pino. Shame on you. It’s time to stand up and take your responsibility! This is what we do in 2020!

    “Everybody around the world, doesn’t matter if you are Inter fan or Juve fan or no fan at all. Please be safe!

    “This is the most important thing for you, your family, and our society.”

    Inter went on to lose the match 2-0, with Aaron Ramsey and Paulo Dybala firing the eventual champions to victory, moving them one step closer to the title.

    And, in addition to the defeat on the day, Zhang and Inter have now been hit with sanctions for the chairman’s pre-game rant.

    Zhang has been ordered to pay an €8,000(£7,400/$9,400) fine while the club will also be required to pay a fine of  €5,000 (£4,600/$5,900).

    The 28-year-old businessman became the youngest ever chairman of Inter in 2018, having been instrumental in Suning Holdings Group’s acquisition of Inter in 2016.

    Suning Holdings Group owns 68.55 per cent of the Nerazzurri.

    Inter finished last season second in Serie A and will begin play this weekend against Fiorentina.

    Source – Goal.com

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