Romelu Lukaku
World Soccer|October 2019
Inter striker highlights Italian football’s ongoing problems with racism
Paddy Agnew

Newly arrived in Serie A, Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku must be wondering to himself about the mindset of some Italian fans, and indeed commentators.

In only his second game since joining Inter from Manchester United, the 26- year-old was subjected to racist abuse away at Cagliari as he stepped up to take what turned out to be a match-winning penalty in a 2-1 victory.

The next day, Lukaku aired his frustration on Instagram, writing: “Many players in the last month have suffered from racial abuse. I did too yesterday.

“Ladies and gentlemen it is 2019 and instead of going forward we’re going backwards.”

He spoke of the “shame” of racial discrimination, calling on “football federations all over the world to react strongly on all cases of discrimination”.

Yet, the following Monday, the Italian federation’s own sports judge ruled that Cagliari had no case to answer in relation to the monkey chants directed at Lukaku.

The sports judge’s report suggested that, although “cries from individual spectators” were heard as Lukaku prepared to take the penalty, they were not perceived either by the federation’s own inspectors or by the stadium security as [racially] discriminatory. So, no fine for Cagliari.

Lukaku must have imagined the racist abuse. As, presumably, did Juventus’ French midfielder Blaise Matuidi during a game at Cagliari in January 2018. As did Juve’s Moise Kean at Cagliari this March.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM WORLD SOCCERView All

New W-League Offers Hope

Aussie 2023 World Cup bid receives boost

4 mins read
World Soccer
November 2019

Whirlwind Rise

The Small Skinny Teen With Spindly Legs Is Now The Future Of Barcelona’s Midfield

10 mins read
World Soccer
November 2019

Gregg Berhalter

Shock defeat to Canada ramps up the pressure on USA coach.

2 mins read
World Soccer
November 2019

Bob Bradley: 'I'm Not Afraid Of Any Challenge. I've Gone Places That Other People Wouldn't Have Gone Near'

The former USA and Egypt coach’s trailblazing career took him to Norway, France and the Premier League before a successful return to MLS

9 mins read
World Soccer
November 2019

Lionel Messi: 'I Want To Win The Champions League Again'

After being presented with a record sixth ESM Golden Shoe, the Barcelona star sat down to talk frankly about his life and career.

9 mins read
World Soccer
November 2019

Long Road To Wembley

A record 47 countries enter 2021 Euros

3 mins read
World Soccer
October 2019

Hitting New Heights

Following his summer move to Real Madrid, the pressure on Eden Hazard is greater than ever

10+ mins read
World Soccer
October 2019

Romelu Lukaku

Inter striker highlights Italian football’s ongoing problems with racism

4 mins read
World Soccer
October 2019

Ansu Fati

Barca teen in demand ahead of Under-17 World Cup

3 mins read
World Soccer
October 2019

Unbeaten Ukraine Keep It Tight

With Europe’s joint-tightest defence – like Belgium, they have conceded just one goal so far – Ukraine are unbeaten in five games and have only failed to score once: in their opening game when they held European champions Portugal to a goalless draw.

3 mins read
World Soccer
October 2019