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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 July 2005, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Inter tour back on after rethink
Inter won the Coppa Italia last season

Sports minister Richard Caborn has confirmed that Inter Milan will tour England as originally scheduled.

Inter were criticised for scrapping the four-game tour over security fears, but Caborn has since held talks with Italian sports minister Mario Pescante.

"It is very important that life goes on and sport is at the forefront of that," Caborn said.

"In London we had Grand Prix athletics and cricket this weekend. It's business as usual. We make no concessions."

The Italian club said there had been a misunderstanding and insisted they had taken their initial stance so as not to "further stretch the already severely occupied security services".

The Italian ambassador in London, Signor Giancarlo Aragona, told BBC Sport that the tour would go ahead, with the team due to fly into London on Sunday.

He added Inter had been involved in discussions with security services over the safety of the trip.

"There was some confusion, they wanted to make sure the conditions on both sides were correct. They wanted to check the feasibility," he said.

Inter are scheduled to play Leicester at the Walkers Stadium on Monday and Foxes chief executive Tim Davies said he welcomed the Italian club's decision.

"We have received reassurances from Inter that the game will now definitely take place," he said.

Inter are then scheduled to play Crystal Palace on Wednesday, Norwich on Friday before rounding off their brief tour at Portsmouth on Sunday.

Leicester were investigating the possibility of compensation given Inter's cancellation would have cost them over 250,000.

Portsmouth have already sold 12,500 tickets for their game and Crystal Palace had organised the fixture to celebrate their centenary.

All four clubs expressed their anger at Inter's decision, with Norwich's chief executive Neil Doncaster accusing them of "giving in to terrorists".

Palace chairman Simon Jordan and Portsmouth counterpart Milan Mandaric previously registered their unhappiness with Inter.

"You have to take into consideration people's safety but they are not going to be in the West End (of London)," said Jordan.

Mandaric added: "No directive has come from the Home Office advising it is unsafe to travel and Portsmouth is a provincial city with lovely people."

Interview: Sports minister Richard Caborn


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