Steven Zhang: "Closing doors but continuing matches is the right thing to do"

Steven Zhang: "Closing doors but continuing matches is the right thing to do"


Mar 4th 2020

The Nerazzurri President’s words: "Public safety must be priority number one"

MILAN - Inter President Steven Zhang has commented on the delicate situation facing Italy and countries all over the world right now in an interview with the BBC. A situation which will also have inevitable repercussions on football itself. Zhang explained: "Public safety must be the number one priority. As Inter, a football club with millions of fans across the globe, we have the responsibility and the duty of delivering the right message, as well as implementing all of the appropriate precautionary measures in the right way.

"Closing doors but continuing matches is the right thing to do, the correct decision so that the people aren’t put at risk. Closing the doors to a match is difficult for many reasons and nobody wants it, but in the end, in order to continue with the calendar and continue with normal activities, we have to prioritise public safety above all else. Right now it’s the only viable option.

"As the president of a football club and a manager of an organisation involved in these events, I just cannot accept a proposal that would put the people’s safety at risk. It doesn't matter what kind of game it is, it doesn't matter if it was 24 hours or 48 hours, we knew the situation wasn’t going to have been resolved in such a short period of time. The right thing to do was to reject the proposal. I had to do what was morally correct, even though it was difficult to say no. But we made the right choice and now people realise it was correct.

"You can only judge a season well at the end of it. There are always difficulties, great moments, ups and downs. It’s normal and it’s what keeps the fans interested. It's true that we've improved a lot compared with the past. Our Coach and players have put in so much effort. Everybody recognises and appreciates that. Our fans and even our competitors have seen a stronger team and a stronger organisation, which is growing. But I’m not worried that closing doors might affect the performance of the team, what I am worried about is putting public safety at risk by holding these kinds of events in front of spectators.

"It’s important for people not to panic and it feels like many people are doing the right things, like washing hands, which definitely helps. That’s the only way that we’ll be able to put everything that’s going on behind us."

Italian version

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