Italian journalist immediately thrown off air after racist comment towards Romelu Lukaku
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A journalist was removed from an Italian TV broadcast after making a racist comment about Romelu Lukaku.
Chelsea striker Lukaku is looking to return to Italy this summer after it was made clear to him that he has no place in Mauricio Pochettino's plans at Stamford Bridge.
Now, Jose Mourinho's AS Roma are pushing to sign the striker on loan for the 2023/24 campaign.
On Friday evening the deal was being discussed on Telelombardia – a local channel in the Lombardy region – by Inter Milan supporter and journalist Luigi Furini.
Furini has been a regular on the Qui Studio a Voi Stadio programme since 2010, but he was thrown off the show after using a racist term to describe Lukaku live on air.
As per Football Italia, Furini tried to defend himself by arguing that the word is often used in rap music, although this was untrue as he used an Italian version of the word.
The journalist refused to apologise, and was removed from the panel during an unexpected advertisement break.
Many Inter fans have branded Lukaku a 'traitor' in recent months due to the links to Juventus.
Director of Telelombardia Fabio Ravezzani released a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"When there are racist terms, you cannot mess around (regardless of their etymology). We do not accept this being a misunderstanding. And apologising far too late is not enough.
"It’s disappointing that a colleague like Furini should make such a serious error. Inevitably, there will be immediate action taken."
This is not the first time that Lukaku has been the victim of racism in Italy.
In April the 30-year-old was racially abused by Juventus fans during the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final between Inter and Juve.
Lukaku was sent off for his reaction to the abuse after he scored a penalty in the match.
After the incident, Lukaku said: "I hope the league really take actions for real this time."