Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku has criticised Italian football for the lack of sanctions against racist fans. Lukaku was, yet again, the victim of cruel racist chants last night in the Coppa Italia. He declared 'F*ck racism' in a defiant message on instagram today after last night's disgraceful scenes in Turin.
It was an eventful last ten minutes in the first leg of the semi final of the Coppa Italia. Juan Cuadrado opened the score on the 83rd minute but Lukaku managed to equalise ln the 95th minute thanks to a late penalty.
The Juventus fans were trying to disturb the Belgian and Inter Milan striker by singing racist chants and making monkey noises. Lukaku celebrated his goal by doing the "be quiet" celebration. By putting his finger to his lips he started a huge brawl on the pitch.
Racist chants were made against Romelu Lukaku by certain Juventus fans.
— Get Italian Football News (@_GIFN) April 4, 2023
He was sent off by the referee because of what he considered being a provocative celebration. Many Juventus fans tried to blame Romelu Lukaku for the fight by wrongly claiming that he got sent off for starting the row. However, Serie A maintains that it was his celebration that caused him his second yellow card.
Utterly incorrect. There’s no video evidence of Lukaku starting a fight (see video below).
Serie A’s own home page stated Lukaku sent off for excessive celebration.
Just stop. Delete the tweet & stop inventing an alternate reality.pic.twitter.com/qDD0CDWduF https://t.co/CaqBMiGQAo
— Nima Tavallaey Roodsari (@NimaTavRood) April 4, 2023
Cuadrado tried to punch Inter's goalkeeper in the face. Samir Handanovic was absolutely furious and then tried to punch back. The two players were held back by their teammates and staff but both got sent off.
The game ended in a dramatic 1-1 draw.
Romelu Lukaku Instagram post
Romelu Lukaku posted a photo of his celebration on Instagram with a caption condemning racism: "fuck racism". He also criticised the Italian league and federation for allowing these acts to happen way to often in football.
He received a lot of support by fellow football stars like Kylian Mbappe, Vinicius Junior, Thibault Courtois and many more in the comments.
This is not the first time Lukaku had to face racism in the Italian league. As he mentioned, this happened in his first season as an Inter player back in 2019.
When they played a league game in Cagliari, Sardinia, Lukaku scored a winning penalty which was followed by monkey chants by the local fans.
Cagliari even released a statement defending their fans' honour. The Serie A said that no disciplinary sanctions would be made. The end result was that nor the fans or the club of Cagliari got punished. Even his own Inter fans reacted like if it was normal.
It seems that in Italy this type of racist attitude is happening so often that it has been normalised. As for now no Juventus fans have been sanctioned for what happened last night. However the Serie A condemns what happened.
RACISM HAS NO PLACE IN STADIUMS.
Lega Serie A firmly condemns any episode of racism and any form of discrimination.
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) April 5, 2023
Roc Nations Sports International wants an apology
Romelu Lukaku's representatives released a statement in which they demand an apology from Juventus and tell the league to condemn the fans who screamed those racist chants. Michael Yomark, president of Roc Nations Sports International said:
Romelu scored a penalty late in the game. Before, during, and after the penalty, he was subjected to hostile and disgusting racist abuse. The Italian authorities must use this opportunity to tackle racism, rather than punish the victim of the abuse. I am certain that the footballing world shares the same sentiment.
He also added that Lukaku celebrated this goal just like he celebrates any of his goals and he doesn't understand why the Belgian forward got a second yellow card for his celebration.