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Apr 10, 2014

De Laurentiis draws line under spat

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has drawn a line under his confrontation with a fan in Parma at the weekend after he refused to accept his apologies.

Aurelio De Laurentiis has already apologised for his actions.
Aurelio De Laurentiis has already apologised for his actions.

The confrontation occurred following Napoli's 1-0 defeat to Parma when a fan, outside the Stadio Tardini, shouted at De Laurentiis as he got into his car to the airport. He said he wanted to see Napoli win all games, and not just those against the big clubs, referring to a 2-0 win over Juventus a week earlier.

De Laurentiis stepped out of his car and approached the fan, raising his hands towards him before being escorted back to the vehicle by his entourage. He immediately made contact with the fan to apologise.

"A few hours later, I received a call from a member of Napoli's management inviting me to the club's training facilities in Castelvolturno to clear things up, but I refused without hesitating because I won't sell my dignity as a person and as a fan to anybody, not even to somebody with more money than me," the fan told Il Resto del Carlino. "I'm sure Napoli means more to me, as a club and as a city, than it does to president De Laurentiis."

That sentiment was contested by De Laurentiis, who hit back on Wednesday night, telling Mediaset: "I've already shown regret for what I did, and he should do the same. It was an animated confrontation, as between two fans, since that is what I am."

Asked whether he would respond in the same way in future, De Laurentiis said: "We'll have to see."

In a statement published on his club's website on Monday, De Laurentiis wrote: "I have a great deal of respect for all fans, and obviously for those with a preference for Napoli. I always said that, during games and for the 20 minutes which follow, I have such contrasting feelings within me -- one as a fan who has witnessed the wins and defeats of my side and one as club president.

"I was very concerned and disappointed for the result, as well as the way the game went, with the penalty not given, and which could have changed the course of the game. I left the stadium in a rush and hopped into the car to go to the airport. Suddenly, a fan screamed at me through the window. Still under the influence of the emotion from the game, I got out of the car to ask him what his problem was.

"After a few seconds, I returned to the car and went to the airport. When I arrived in Rome, I immediately contacted the fan via [club communications director] Nicola Lombardo. During the call, I apologised for what had happened and I invited him to a cordial meeting in my office."

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