Lukaku abused in Cagliari

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Football -

Romelu Lukaku suf­fered racist abuse as he hit the win­ning penalty for In­ter Mi­lan in their 2-1 win at Cagliari.

The for­mer Manch­ester United striker, who moved to Italy this sum­mer, was the tar­get of mon­key chants from the home sup­port­ers as he stepped up to shoot.

The sick­en­ing scenes come just five months after Moise Kean was also the vic­tim of racist chants while play­ing for Ju­ven­tus at the same ground. That dis­play of racism was made even more note­wor­thy by Kean’s then team­mate Leonardo Bonucci re­port­edly claim­ing Kean, now at Ever­ton, was partly re­spon­si­ble.

Kean, 19, spread his arms while fac­ing the crowd after scor­ing Juve’s sec­ond goal in their 2-0 win, prompt­ing Bonucci to say: “[Kean] could have done it dif­fer­ently” and “the blame is 50-50”. Bonucci later rowed back, say­ing: “I was in­ter­viewed right at the end of the game, and my words have been clearly mis­un­der­stood.”

The racist abuse di­rected at Lukaku will do lit­tle to help the im­age of both Cagliari and Ital­ian foot­ball and at­ti­tudes to­wards mon­key chants di­rected at black play­ers. In the af­ter­math of the Kean in­ci­dent, Kick It Out launched a blis­ter­ing at­tack on the Ital­ian Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion, say­ing there had been a “clear fail­ure in process” and the game should have been aban­doned.

The racist abuse un­der­stand­ably over­shad­owed the In­ter Mi­lan win, one that earned new coach An­to­nio Conte two vic­to­ries from two at the start of the sea­son.

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