During the Italian Cup semi-finals match between Inter Milan and Juventus, Romelu Lukaku, Inter Milan forward, was shown a second yellow card and sent off for his gesture toward Juventus fans who directed racist chants at him. He had converted a penalty to earn Inter a 1-1 draw and held his finger to his lips as if to silence the crowd after scoring. Lukaku’s gesture enraged Juventus players, and the game ended in a scuffle.
Reaction of Roc Nation Sports International President
Roc Nation Sports International President, Michael Yormark, said: “Tonight’s racist remarks made towards Romelu Lukaku by Juventus fans in Turin were beyond despicable and cannot be accepted. Romelu deserves an apology from Juventus, and I expect the league to condemn the behavior of this group of Juventus supporters immediately.”
“The Italian authorities must use this opportunity to tackle racism, rather than punish the victim of the abuse.”
Italian League’s Response
The Italian league issued a statement on Wednesday in which Lukaku was not named but said that it “strongly condemns every episode of racism and every form of discrimination.” The league judge will likely open a disciplinary case into the matter, while Juventus said it would collaborate with authorities to identify the fans responsible.
Romelu Lukaku’s Stance
Romelu Lukaku has been subjected to racist chants on numerous occasions during his two stints at Inter. He took to Instagram and wrote: “I hope the league really takes actions for real this time because this beautiful game should be enjoyed by everyone.”
Racism has been a long-running problem in Italian football, and authorities have been criticized for not taking strong enough action. In this particular case, the Italian authorities need to take swift action against Juventus fans who subjected Romelu Lukaku to racial abuse. There should be zero-tolerance towards racism and discrimination, and it’s time the Italian authorities act on this.
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