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Five Aside

Moratti: Inter not 'blackmailing' Sneijder

Massimo Moratti has denied claims that Inter Milan are "blackmailing" midfielder Wesley Sneijder.

Club president Moratti hit back at the accusations, made by FIFPro, the worldwide trade union for professional footballers.

The controversy erupted after the Nerazzurri hinted that Netherlands international Snejder would not play again until he agreed to extend his contract, which runs until 2015, while taking a pay cut.

Coach Andrea Stramaccioni has insisted Sneijder's absence from his first team is a tactical issue.

But the situation has led FIFPro to call for talks with FIFA, UEFA and the European Commission over what it said was the "blackmail behaviour of clubs".

In a statement, the organisation said: "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.''

But Moratti told Inter's official website: "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.''

Sneijder has not played since September, and Moratti said it was "entirely down to the coach" when he would be back in action.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report


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