Romelu Lukaku sent off after 'over-celebrating' in response to racist chants directed his way
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Romelu Lukaku was sent off for ‘over-celebrating’ against Juventus after suffering ‘racist abuse’ throughout the game.
It was a fiery contest between Inter Milan and their rivals in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final.
The Belgian striker scored from the penalty spot in the 95th minute to make the scores 1-1 late into the game and proceeded to celebrate.
He saluted the crowd while putting up his index finger up to his mouth in a ‘shoosh’ motion presumably to the Juventus fans who had been chanting his way.
Players from both the Milan and Turin sides had a bit of a coming together, however, it was quickly broken up with Lukaku the first to leave the area.
Lukaku scores, celebrates the way he always does, shouts two things against the racists slurs against him, he’s the first to leave the penalty area. The referee who hasn’t seen anything runs after him to give him a yellow? Why? pic.twitter.com/dx54CsUKbs— Siavoush Fallahi (@SiavoushF) April 4, 2023
But to the surprise of many, the referee decided to dish out a second yellow card to the Chelsea loanee believing he had been provocative with his celebration.
It was a bizarre moment that has been condemned by Roc Nation, representatives of the forward.
President Michael Yormark sent out a statement, saying: “Tonight’s racist remarks made toward Romelu Lukaku by Juventus fans in Turin were beyond despicable and cannot be accepted.
“Romelu scored a penalty late in the game. 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.
“Romelu deserves an apology from Juventus, and I expect the League to condemn the behaviour of this group of Juventus supporters immediately.
“The Italian authorities must use this opportunity to tackle racism, rather than punish the victim of the abuse.
“I am certain that the footballing world shares the same sentiment.”
A statement from the President of Roc Nation Sports International, Michael Yormark on tonight’s incident involving Romelu Lukaku pic.twitter.com/VSrNOupwdh— Roc Nation Sports International (@RocNationSI) April 4, 2023
Things heated up even further following the red card debacle with Juve’s Juan Cuadrado and Milan’s keeper Samir Handanovic getting involved in a dispute after the final whistle.
It led to both men receiving red cards as the situation threatened to turn into a scuffle between the two teams.
Inter boss Simeone Inzaghi spoke about the sending-off after the match saying he hoped the yellow card would be rescinded.
He told reporters: “There will be images and I hope this yellow card will be revoked, as it happened with [Ademola] Lookman, Lukaku always celebrates like this.
“The lad was misunderstood, he received a second yellow card and was sent off. The end wasn't nice. Now I only think that I've lost Lukaku and Samir Handanovic for the second leg, two important players for us.”
Atlanta forward Ademola Lookman had his yellow card revoked after his trademark glasses celebration led to him being booked.