Cagliari avoid sanc­tion over Lukaku abuse

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport | Football - Tar­geted: Romelu Lukaku ap­peared to be sub­jected to mon­key chants

Cagliari have avoided pun­ish­ment after sup­port­ers al­legedly aimed racist abuse at In­ter Mi­lan striker Romelu Lukaku this month.

For­mer Manch­ester United player Lukaku ap­peared to be sub­jected to mon­key chants as he pre­pared to take – and score – a match-win­ning penalty in In­ter’s 2-1 Serie A vic­tory on Sept 1 at the Sardegna Arena.

But, fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the Ital­ian Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion’s sport­ing jus­tice panel has ruled that the chants could not be con­sid­ered dis­crim­i­na­tory in terms of their “scale and re­al­i­sa­tion”.

A state­ment from Lega Serie A said the panel had there­fore de­cided not to ap­ply sanc­tions to the club.

Cagliari po­lice told fed­er­a­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tors that “only on the oc­ca­sion” of Lukaku’s penalty were “chants, shouts and whis­tles aimed at the op­po­si­tion ath­lete as he pre­pared to take his shot”.

In­di­vid­ual spec­ta­tors were ob­served chant­ing at the Bel­gian but, be­cause of the vol­ume of the noise em­a­nat­ing from the stand, it was not clear what was be­ing said and so it could not be proven that it was dis­crim­i­na­tory.

After the match, Lukaku urged ac­tion against racism in foot­ball. The 26-year-old wrote on In­sta­gram: “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.”

Cagliari were, mean­while, fined €5,000 (£4,430) after fans threw bot­tles on to the Sta­dio En­nio Tar­dini pitch dur­ing Sun­day’s 3-1 league win at Parma.

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