Italian TV Pundit Aims Racist Abuse At Romelu Lukaku
For the second time in his short spell in Italy so far Romelu Lukaku has been the subject of vile racist abuse, this time from a television pundit.
Two weeks ago Cagliari fans aimed monkey chants at Lukaku as he slotted home the goal from the penalty spot in Inter's away fixture, at the Sardegna Arena.
Following Inter's latest win, against Udinese on Saturday, the former Manchester United player has come under more awful racist abuse from TopCalcio24's Luciano Passirani. Speaking on Italian tv the pundit said, "I don't see any other player in Italy now like Lukaku. [...] I really like him.
"The only way to stop him is to say, Here are ten bananas that you can eat."
Italian pundit Luciano Passirani after praising Romelu Lukaku: "the only way to push him down to the floor is to throw 10 bananas at him."- Premier League Panel (@PremLeaguePanel) September 16, 2019
The problem runs so deep in Italian football. pic.twitter.com/6e6v1Nc0J3
The TV channel immediately suspended the pundit after his remarks on the programme on Sunday, which is quicker punishment than Serie A have managed.
Cagliari fans are still waiting to find out whether they and their team will even be punished or not after their awful behaviour, never mind what that punishment might be.
It isn't even the first time Cagliari fans have been involved in a racist incident, with the fans similarly directing monkey noises and Moise Kean last season.
Passirani's tact, trying to make the racism seem like a way of complimenting Lukaku, was also followed by Inter's own fans after the incident against Cagliari.
In a statement the club's Ultras saying, "Hi Romelu. We are writing you on behalf of Curva Nord, yes the guys who welcomed you at your arrival in Milan.
"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.
"We understand that it could have seemed racist to you, but it is not like that.
"In Italy we use some 'ways' only to 'help our teams' and to try to make our opponents nervous, not for racism but to mess them up.
"We are a multi-ethnic fans organisation and we have always welcomed players from everywhere. However, we have always used that 'way' with other teams' players in the past and we probably will in the future.
"We are not racist and so are not the Cagliari fans. You have to understand that in all Italian stadiums people cheer for their teams but at the same time they use to cheer against the opponents not for racism but to 'help' their own team."
The 26-year-old has started his career in Italy in fine form with two goals in his first three Serie A games and the Nerazzurri now sit top of the table.
Following Juventus' draw with Fiorentina at the weekend, Antonio Conte's side are the only team left with a 100% record, as they chase a first title since 2010.