Inter Milan CEO Beppe Marotta feels that defender Francesco Acerbi has what it takes to move past the alleged racism scandal that has embroiled him.

The Nerazzurri executive spoke to Italian broadcaster DAZN, via FCInterNews. He also addressed the future of Nerazzurri owners Suning.

In the last couple of weeks, the alleged incident between Acerbi and Napoli defender Juan Jesus has arguable overshadowed all other matters surrounding Inter.

Jesus alleged that the Nerazzurri player used a racial slur during an argument with him.

However, Acerbi vehemently denied this. The 36-year-old insisted that Jesus had misheard him.

After an investigation into the incident, Acerbi did receive a not guilty verdict. This came as some amount of vindication for the former Lazio and Sassuolo defender.

However, there is a sense that the book is not altogether closed.

Napoli defender Jesus continues to assert that, regardless of the outcome of the investigation, Acerbi did use racially discriminatory language. And the Brazilian’s club back him in this.

The investigation did not definitively determine that Acerbi had not racially abused Jesus. Only that there was a lack of sufficient evidence to find him guilty of doing so.

Therefore, the controversy could very well drag on for some time.

But in the meantime, Acerbi is back on the pitch. The Italian international has not received a ban. Therefore, he is starting for Inter against Empoli this evening.

Inter Not Doubting Acerbi’s Version Of Events

As far as Inter’s response during the firestorm, Marotta said that “We deliberately kept silent.”

“I’ll give a summary – it’s a bitter chapter for Italian football, no matter what point of view you analyze it from.”

“We asked the player to give us his account of what happened on the pitch,” Marotta said.

“And he told us his objective truth.”

“We had no doubts in him, and no evidence regarding the episode. So we joined him along with the lawyer Capellini in the hearing with the FA Prosecutors’ Office.”

“The judge then opted to find him not guilty,” Marotta said.

The Inter executive made clear that “We’re in favour of any initiative to safeguard against any form of discrimination.”

“We’re against any form of racism. And we’re at the side of Juan Jesus.”

“However, there’s a legal aspect as well, and that must be respected,” Marotta said.

“The verdict has to be respected.”

Inter CEO Marotta: Francesco Acerbi A “Man With A Capital M”

“And then, we’re talking about a serious guy in Acerbi, who’s had serious health issues [the defender has overcome cancer]. He can’t take these things lightly.”

As far as Napoli – and former Inter and Roma – defender Jesus, Marotta said that “I haven’t spoken to Juan. It’s not up to us to speak to him.”

“I took note of what Acerbi told us. I have no doubts as far as believing his version of events.”

“But I’m not a judge,” Marotta said. “Therefore, I won’t allow myself to make any judgments besides reiterating what happened.”

“Acerbi gave us his version which had no racially motivated incident,” the CEO said. “Then, Jesus’s version is different. But I won’t allow myself to make any judgments.”

“Acerbi is a man and a sensitive person. He’s certainly been upset by this situation, and has been attacked from both sides.”

“There may be some tension from him. But I can count on him as a person who’s faced life with great determination.”

“He’s dealt with serious health problems,” Marotta reiterated of Acerbi. “He’s a man with a capital M, and he’ll know how to get past this.”

Suning Want To Stay On, Says Marotta

As far as whether he expects Suning to remain as Inter owners, Marotta said that “I don’t know.”

“These matters are above my pay grade,” the executive continued.

“But what I do know is that Steven Zhang wants to continue as President.”

“Many trophies have arrived with him at the helm,” the Inter CEO said. “And I think that all the conditions are in place for him to stay.”

As far as the club’s work at the sporting level, Marotta said that “Piero Ausilio and Dario Baccin, who I have to thank, are working well along with me.”

“We’re working to seize any opportunities, and plan for next season.”

“The core of what we do is the model that we follow. Everyone has their own job, and there is plenty of delegation.”