Romelu Lukaku, a striker for Inter Milan, was subjected to racial taunts during the first leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal on Tuesday night. The Belgian was sent off for celebrating in front of his own supporters after scoring a penalty, and Lukaku expressed optimism on social media that “the league really take actions for real this time.”
Romelu Lukaku of Inter Milan was subjected to racial taunts during Tuesday night’s Coppa Italia semifinal first leg, and Juventus are collaborating with authorities to “identify those responsible.”
After scoring a stoppage-time penalty to give Inter a 1-1 draw in Turin, the Belgian forward was given a second yellow card for celebrating in front of the home crowd. Lukaku was then yelled at by spectators.
After the final whistle, scuffles broke out between the two teams’ players inside the Allianz Stadium, leading to the dismissal of Inter captain Samir Handanovic and Juventus midfielder Juan Cuadrado from the game.
Statement released by the Turin club on Wednesday
A statement from the Turin club on Wednesday read: “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.”
The US-based sports agency Roc Nation, which represents Lukaku, asked that Juventus apologize to the striker in a statement issued late on Tuesday.
“Tonight’s racist remarks made towards Romelu Lukaku by Juventus fans in Turin were beyond despicable and cannot be accepted,” Roc Nation Sports International president Michael Yormark said.
“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.
“The Italian authorities must use this opportunity to tackle racism, rather than punish the victim of the abuse.”
The obscene shouts directed at Lukaku in 2019, while he was on loan from Chelsea to Inter, were also denounced by him in a social media post at the time.