Romelu Lukaku sent off for responding to ‘hostile and disgusting’ racist abuse


Updated: Apr 5, 2023 7:50 pm

When equalising in the Coppa Italia semi-final, Inter striker Romelu Lukaku received a second yellow card after celebrating in retaliation to racial abuse.

Disgraceful scenes unfolded in last night’s Coppa Italia semi-final showdown where Belgian international Romelu Lukaku was subject to racial abuse at the Allianz Stadium.

The 1-1 draw of the first leg of the affair saw three players sent off, with Lukaku bizarrely being punished for responding to the racial abuse he received from the stands, shortly before Samir Handanovic and Juan Cuadrado was shown red for a scuffle post kickoff.

A select group of Juventus ‘fans’ were relentlessly hounding the forward on loan from Chelsea before dispatching a 95th-minute equaliser, chanting racial slurs “before, during and after” the penalty kick was taken.

However, the 29-year-old cleared his mind to fire his side level in the dying moments, placing his finger on his lips, and giving it back to those who racially abused him, only to find himself in the changing rooms moments later after seeing red.

The president of Roc Nation, Michael Yormak, condemned Lukaku’s sending off on Twitter, stating: “Tonight’s racist remarks made towards Romelu Lukaku by Juventus fans in Turin were beyond despicable and cannot be accepted.

“Romelu scored a penalty 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,” said Michael.

“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.”

The decision made by referee Davide Massa to send Lukaku off may have been correct to the letter of the law book, but common sense was needed to prevail in this incident.

The action of showing a player red for retaliating to racial abuse will only fuel the fire and make the issue more prevalent, with Juventus gaining an on-field advantage over Inter Milan due to the abuse.

Juventus’ Response

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Romelu Lukaku has been a victim of racial abuse inside the confines of Italian football, with the forward claiming that the issue was at an ‘all-time high’ in 2021, having suffered from the similar invective language in his last spell at the club.

Juventus have also confirmed that they will seek to ban any fans found guilty of chanting racial slurs, in a statement saying: “Juventus Football Club, as always, is collaborating with the police to identify those responsible for racist gestures and chants that occurred last night. 

“Also in this case, the ‘Approval Code’ will be applied to those responsible, a code which provides for the banning of individuals in the event of a violation of the rules of conduct. 

“The Juventus club says so in a note in which it recalls its commitment started in 2010 on the issue of discrimination, racial and beyond, and which is also expressed with initiatives such as the podcast “On race”, now in its second season, which had as a guest in the last episode Danilo.”

Serie A’s Response

Serie A responded to the situation by stating, “Lega Serie A firmly condemns every episode of racism and every form of discrimination.

“A few characters present in the stands cannot spoil the show of football and do not represent the thoughts of all the fans and enthusiasts at the stadium, who fortunately share the highest values ​​of sport.

“The Serie A clubs, as they always have done, will be able to identify the culprits, excluding them for life from their facilities. Keep Racism Out campaign and the agreement signed two weeks ago with Unar are concrete steps of commitment in this long and incessant battle which will lead to the following result without delay: (keeping) racists and their insults out of the stadiums.”

Inter’s Response

Lukaku’s club, Inter, also released a comment backing the Belgian, reading: “We are brothers and sisters of the world. Since 9 March 1908 this has been our story,’ it read.

“We want to firmly reiterate that we stand united against racism and all forms of discrimination. 

“Football and sport must not only be a place for emotion but also for clear and shared values, and what we saw last night in the final minutes of the Juventus vs Inter Coppa Italia semi-final in Turin has no place in our sport.

“This is why we reiterate our support, affection and solidarity to Romelu Lukaku, just as the world of football is doing from all over since the incident. Stay strong Rom, we stand with you!”


Follow Us on Social Media

Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - LinkedIn

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Scroll to Top