NEW YORK – Shortly before presenting the Inter Campus project at United Nations headquarters, president Massimo Moratti answered questions from reporters gathered at the building about the club's social programme and also about recent events of a purely footballing nature.
inter.it provides you with the president's statements in full:
President Moratti, what is the significance of this invitation from the United Nations to Inter Campus?
"The fact that the UN have opened the doors of their headquarters to Inter Campus is proof of just how serious a social programme it is. We feel immensely proud and can be nothing but grateful: it's fantastic that we are here at the UN and that we can collaborate with them in the future. Knowing that we have such an important friend will help us to do even better. Inter Campus is a group of highly professional people and it's also wonderful for our 10,000 children to know that they have been recognised by the UN. Being able to make them happy is our reward."
Will other clubs follow the example Inter have set with Inter Campus?
"Everyone is free to do so if they choose. For the moment that hasn't happened, maybe because this is the sort of activity that has no financial return whatsoever. We're more than happy to carry it forward and we're proud to do so."
The project came into being in 1997. How do you see it evolving in the future?
"It will keep evolving. In a planned way, not just for the sake of it. You must show respect. We don't want to introduce a new culture, so when we arrive in a country we tiptoe in, adapting to the culture we find there, starting with the local organisations already in place. We have lots and lots of requests to start up new Inter Campus centres because there are lots of troubles and problems in the world: we'll continue to expand but you must always be very careful. In any case, Inter Campus is destined to grow because although the problems in the world won't necessarily grow, the ones we already have are huge."
Moving on to competitive football, what is your position regarding what has turned into the "Sneijder situation"?
"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. 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."
So will we see Sneijder on the pitch again over the coming weeks?
"That's entirely down to the coach, if he thinks he's physically and psychologically up to playing."
What does the team need to play well?
"In football the moment you start thinking you're settled and you relax is when you must be most careful. That's maybe what happened to us, we thought we had found the squaring of the circle but football continuously throws up new, more difficult problems. Add in fatigue and perhaps a little excess of confidence when you have most of your first-choice players starting and the result was a bad game."
Will Inter strengthen in January?
"No, the team is fine as it is."
How do you see the first half of the season ending?
"I think the team will pull out all the stops. They are a group of extremely professional lads and the coach - besides being professional - is also very talented, so I think he'll ensure that things go better than they have in the last few games."
Do you regret not taking advantage of Juventus' slip-ups in recent weeks?
"You obviously regret it because we're in a race so it's normal. What matters at the moment is that we don't fall too far behind, then we'll see at the end."