Infantino condemns 'unacceptable' Juventus chants towards Lukaku

By Sports Desk April 05, 2023

FIFA president Gianni Infantino condemned racist chants from Juventus fans towards Inter striker Romelu Lukaku during their Coppa Italia semi-final first leg.

Lukaku scored a penalty in stoppage time to earn visitors Inter a 1-1 draw in Turin on Tuesday, duly celebrating by holding a finger to his lips in front of Juve supporters as a response to abuse.

The celebration was deemed provocative and the Belgian was sent off for a second bookable offence, with the incident leading to a confrontation between the two sets of players.

Lukaku released a statement on Wednesday demanding action from Italian authorities, which has been widely supported by other big names in the football world.

Infantino labelled the chants "unacceptable" and called for those responsible to be punished.

Infantino said: "Football has no place for racism or any form of discrimination.

"It is simply unacceptable to see the racist abuse aimed by spectators at Inter forward Romelu Lukaku during the Coppa Italia match at Juventus in Turin.

"FIFA and I stand with Romelu Lukaku, just as we do with any other player, coach, match official, fan or participant in a football match who has suffered from racism or any other form of discrimination.

"Victims of those abuses must be supported, and the perpetrators duly punished by all authorities.

"I repeat the call made earlier this year for fans to stand up and silence the racists.

"Equally, in football, we need to ensure that strict sporting sanctions are applied to address such incidents and to serve as a deterrent."

In Lukaku's message earlier in the day, he was keen to highlight how such incidents are recurring rather than isolated.

"History repeats. [I've] been through it in 2019 and [now in] 2023 again," he said via Instagram.

"I hope the league really take actions for real this time because this beautiful game should be enjoyed by everyone.

"Thank you for the supportive messages. F*** racism."

His message has received support from the likes of Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe wrote on Instagram: "2023 and still the same problems. But we are not going to let you get away with it."

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