Inter striker Lukaku demands action after racist monkey chants against him
Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku called on soccer authorities to do more to combat racism after being the latest target of racial abuse that continues to blight the Italian game.
Lukaku converted Inter's winning penalty kick against Cagliari on Sunday and then glared at home fans behind the goal as they had been directing monkey chants at the former Manchester United player, who is black.
"Many players in the last month have suffered from racial abuse. I did yesterday too," Lukaku wrote on Instagram on Monday.
"Football is a game to be enjoyed by everyone and we shouldn't accept any form of discrimination that will put our game in shame. I hope the football federations all over world react strongly on all cases of discrimination!!!"
Lukaku also called on social media companies to take action.
"Social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook...) need to work better as well as with football clubs because everyday you see at least a racist comment under a post of a person of color... we’ve been saying it for years and still no action.. Ladies and gentlemen it's 2019 instead of going forward we’re going backwards and I think as players we need unify and make a statement on this matter to keep this game clean and enjoyable for everyone."
Former United teammate Paul Pogba was recently targeted on Twitter with racial abuse after missing a penalty. Everton forward Moise Kean was subject to racist abuse when he played against Cagliari for Juventus last season, as was Blaise Matuidi the year before.
The Italian league did not sanction Cagliari for either incident, nor did they do so when Sulley Muntari was abused by the same team's fans in 2017. The Pescara midfielder was so infuriated after unsuccessfully trying to get the referee to halt the game that he walked off the field and was shown a second yellow card and given a one-match ban, which was later overturned.
In response to the Lukaku chants, Serie A announced a new initiative to be launched in October whereby one player from each team will join an anti-racism team as "a testimonial that will be the bearer of the values of respect and equality."