Romelu Lukaku calls for “real action” after more racist abuse

Romelu Lukaku calls for “real action” after more racist abuse

Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku was subjected to relentless racial abuse from Juventus during Tuesday night’s Coppa Italia clash between the two giants of Italian football. The Belgian striker managed to silence the crowd in the 90th minute with a penalty that denied Juventus victory and he understandably made his feelings known during his celebration.

After putting the penalty passed Perin in the Juventus goal, Lukaku went up to the Juventus supporters and held his fingers to his lips. Inexplicably, the referee decided to give the 29-year-old a second yellow card for his celebration and he was sent off which sparked several minutes of fury from his teammates.

Inter captain Samir Handanovic and Juventus midfielder Juan Cuadrado were both shown red cards after the final whistle had gone with the row continuing down the tunnel long after the match had finished. 

Taking to Instagram afterwards, Lukaku posted a picture of his celebration with the following caption:

“History repeats itself. Been through it in 2019 and 2023 again. I hope the league really takes action for real this time because the beautiful game should be enjoyed by everyone. Thank you for the supportive messages. F**k racism.”

Juventus to make a stand

Racism has been an issue in football for as long as football has existed. Despite many campaigns over the years, very little has changed. Italian football is more notorious for it than many other countries in Europe and Juventus have quickly come out to say they are going to work with the police to identify those responsible for the chants aimed at Lukaku. In a statement, the club said:

“Juventus Football Club, as always, are collaborating with the police to identify those responsible for the racist gestures and chants which took place last night.”

Meanwhile, the president of Lukaku’s representatives Roc Nation Sports International, Michael Yormark, has offered his support to the ex-Man Utd and Chelsea striker saying that the abuse he had suffered throughout the match was “beyond despicable”. He added:

“Romelu scored a penalty late in the game. Before, during and after the penalty, he was subjected to hostile and disgusting racist abuse. Romelu celebrated in the same manner he has previously celebrated goals. The referee’s response was to award a yellow card to Romelu.

“Romelu deserves an apology from Juventus and I expect the league to condemn the behaviour 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.”

Lukaku’s future in Italy

Lukaku is currently only on loan at Inter Milan from Chelsea after enjoying a series of poor performances in London. While his future beyond this season has been up in the air, this latest incident could understandably force Lukaku into moving away from Italy.

During his first stint in Milan between 2019 and 2021, he also faced racist abuse in a match against Cagliari in September 2019. At the time, he said that the game “was going backwards” and since he has said that racism in football is “worse than ever.”

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