Shortly into his life in a new country, Romelu Lukaku was subjected to racist chants in a match between Inter Milan and Cagliari. Inter Milan were awarded a penalty, which Lukaku converted in the 72nd minute, but the fans in the stadium reacted with monkey chants after the goal.
Inter coach Antonio Conte expressed his disappointment on the incident after the match and said that people need to have more “respect”.
“I need to be honest with you. I was so focused in the game, so I did not listen [to] any chants against Lukaku,” he said after the match on Sunday.
“However, as it happened so many other times, I think in Italy we need to improve a lot. We need to have more education and to have more respect with the people who are working,” he added.
“In other countries you support the team, you don’t insult the opposition like this. There must be the maximum respect.”
Cagliari. Again 😡
And not just them
2017: No punishment for racist chanting at Muntari – "couldn’t really be heard"
2018: "No sanction can be brought" for abuse of Matuidi
May: Monkey chants at Kean -"limited relevance to race"
— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) September 2, 2019
Even in the last season, Italy saw a few such incidents, where players were subjected to racial abuse on the same ground.
Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi and former striker Moise Kean, who is now in England plying for Everton, were also subjected to racist chanting from Cagliari supporters last season. The Italian league’s disciplinary panel later decided not to take action against the club.
Respected Italian journalist Matteo Bonetti immediately brought this into light and wanted serious action to be taken.
“Astonishing behaviour from group of Cagliari fans! Once again racist monkey chants as Lukaku goes to take a penalty,” he said.
“That’s one season removed from Moise Kean incident. Something has to be done about this.”
A few months after Serie A opted not to punish Cagliari for their fans’ racist abuse of Moise Kean they’re doing it again with Romelu Lukaku. The sounds coming from that stadium are disgusting. Cagliari shouldn’t have any fans in there again this season.
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) September 1, 2019
Italy is not the only footballing nation that s currently facing the issue. The 2019/20 Premier League has barely kicked off, and it has already been reported of such issues. Lukaku’s former teamamte Kurt Zouma was the latest victim, while Tammy Abraham also had to suffer racist abuse after Paul Pogba’s missed penalty made him a victim of racial abuse on social media.