Inter deny Sneijder 'blackmail' accusations
Updated: Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 10:10
Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has denied accusations that the Serie A club are "blackmailing" midfielder Wesley Sneijder.
The Nerazzurri had intimated that the Holland international would not play again until he agreed to extend his contract, which currently runs until 2015, while simultaneously taking a pay cut.
Head coach Andrea Stramaccioni subsequently insisted that Sneijder's absence from first-team action is purely a tactical choice.
But FIFPro, the worldwide trade union for professional footballers, issued a statement last night requesting dialogue with FIFA, UEFA and the European Commission to share its concerns over what it called 'blackmail behaviour of clubs'.
Moratti told inter.it: "As far as the club is concerned, we are completely open to the player, there is no sort of blackmail.
"If a contract is valid, it's certainly valid to ask a person if it can be improved in some way. That doesn't change the fact that for the time being he's not playing for technical reasons."
"We are completely open to the player, there is no sort of blackmail" - Massimo Moratti
He added: "Obviously no one would want to throw away someone of his value. The club is calm, we haven't forced anyone to do anything. His contract is valid, no one is forcing him, Sneijder is free."
The former Real Madrid playmaker has not featured since September and Moratti would not be drawn on whether he would return against Palermo this weekend.
"That's entirely down to the coach, if he thinks he's physically and psychologically up to playing," he added.
The FIFPro statement read: "FIFPro signals a growing number of players who are put under pressure to prolong their contract. This is no new phenomenon.
"A club forces a player with a contract nearing expiry to sign a new contract. If the player refuses, the club puts him on the reserve bench or in the grandstand.
"This professional footballer doesn't get a chance to play any more. Only when he has signed a new contract he can resume playing."