The Italian football sphere has always been controversial, and one of the top subjects are- racism. Several Serie A players have been a victim of abuse and chants regarding their skin colour, including the recently arrived Romelu Lukaku, but the defensive approach is in form of apologists!
During the 2-1 away victory over Cagliari at Sardegna Arena, Lukaku was verbally abused by the home fans, who threw monkey chants at the forward, who netted in the ball from the spot.
However, the Nerazzuri’s fan group Curva Nord, released a statement regarding the incident, and instead of demeaning the racist activity from the stands, it is being defended as a form of ‘respect’ and ‘sportsmanship’.
Sports journalist Nima Tavallaey Roodsari posted on his Twitter about the incident, criticising the statement as it defended the racists insiead of the victim.
This is a statement released by @Inter_en ultras the #CurvaNord about the racism @RomeluLukaku9 was the victim of.
It begins with the words “we’re really sorry you thought what happened in Cagliari was racist.”
Anyone still wonder why I’m proud to never have set foot there?
— Nima Tavallaey Roodsari (@NimaTavRood) September 3, 2019
The statement was originally posted on the fan group’s Facebook page, which goes something like this: “We are really sorry you thought that what happened in Cagliari was racist. You have to understand that Italy is not like many other north European countries where racism is a real problem.”
In addition to totally diminishing something like racism as a problem in the country, the statement also added: “Please consider this attitude of Italian fans as a form of respect for the fact they are afraid of you for the goals you might score against their teams and not because they hate you or they are racist.”
Another Serie A and Italian superstar, Mario Balotelli, was abused with monkey chants by Bastia fans back in 2017.
It is now to be seen how Lukaku himself and the global sports media reacts to this.
Inter are taking on Udinese in their upcoming Serie A fixture on 15th September.