Inter reacted with dismay and "great sorrow" on Friday as the Italian FA refused to overturn the red card shown to Romelu Lukaku when he stood up to racist abuse against Juventus.

The Belgian striker converted a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time to earn Inter a 1-1 draw in the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg on April 4 at the Allianz Stadium.

He then used his finger to shush the home fans' vitriol and that reaction was deemed a bookable offence by referee Davide Massa.

Lukaku had already been booked for a foul in the 80th minute, so the second yellow card saw him dismissed.

The Inter frontman called for action from Serie A officials after being targeted for abuse, while team-mate Edin Dzeko described the treatment from the Juventus fans as something "that should never happen".

FIFA president Gianni Infantino labelled the abuse "unacceptable" and called for those responsible to be punished.

A partial stadium closure was initially imposed on Juventus as a result of Lukaku being targeted, with the section from where the abuse came ordered to be shut for one game, but that decision was overturned this week.

An appeal against Lukaku's punishment was submitted by Inter to the Italian FA – the FIGC – but that was rejected on Friday, meaning the on-loan Chelsea player must miss next Wednesday's second leg.

In a statement, Inter said: "The FIGC's National Court of Appeal today confirmed the suspension of Romelu Lukaku, who will be unable to participate in Wednesday's Coppa Italia semi-final.

"FC Internazionale Milano feels it must consolidate its support for the player and expresses great sorrow at the fact that the victim has become the only guilty party."

Edin Dzeko has weighed in on the racist abuse faced by Inter team-mate Romelu Lukaku, calling it something "that should never happen on the football pitch".

Belgium forward Lukaku was abused by Juventus supporters during an ill-tempered Coppa Italia semi-final first-leg last week.

It came against the backdrop of a particularly violent 1-1 encounter, with both Samir Handanovic and Juan Cuadrado also shown red cards for their part in a brawl.

Ahead of the return leg later this month, Dzeko acknowledged the events were things that should not have been allowed to take place, while outlining Inter's wider cup ambitions.

"During the match, some things happened that never should on the football pitch," he told N1. "They have already been spoken and written about.

"Our fans supported us throughout the match. I thank them for their support on the pitch. We have had a good relationship since the first day [I arrived] at Inter.

"This season, I have already won a trophy, but the goal is to always win new titles. In Milan, I won three. I know how important it is for the club to be in the fight for the Scudetto.

"The fight with Juventus is wide open. At San Siro, we will have to play even better [if we are] to try to reach the final and lift the Coppa Italia."

Dzeko will have pressing European commitments before the second leg, though, with his side set to face Benfica in the Champions League quarter-finals.

They will host Juventus a fortnight on Wednesday, with both teams looking to reach May's final against either Fiorentina or Cremonese.

Juventus have been given a one-match partial stadium ban after their supporters racially abused Inter striker Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku was targeted by opposition fans before and after scoring a penalty in the fifth minute of added time to earn Inter a 1-1 draw in Tuesday's Coppa Italia semi-final first leg.

The Belgium international was issued a second yellow card for putting his fingers to his lips to silence the Allianz Stadium crowd.

Serie A announced on Thursday that Juve must close the lower tier of the South Stand for their next home league game, which is against Napoli on April 23.

The judge overseeing the case stated that "the majority of the 5,034" spectators in that stand were guilty of racially abusing Lukaku.

Lukaku will still serve a one-match ban in the return fixture with Juve on April 26 for his sending off, which sparked a mass melee near full-time. 

Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and Juve midfielder Juan Cuadrado were both dismissed for their parts in the scuffle, and will serve one and three-game bans respectively.

Lukaku, who is on loan at San Siro from Chelsea, has been subjected to racism on numerous occasions in Italy and this week called for more serious action to be taken.

"History repeats. [I've] been through it in 2019 and [now in] 2023 again," he posted on his official social media channels.

"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."

Juve intend to work closely with authorities to identify the fans responsible and issue bans.

Fiorentina have one foot in the Coppa Italia final after a dominant away performance saw them record a 2-0 win against ten-men Cremonese in the first leg of the semi-final. 

Arthur Cabral's header and Nicolas Gonzalez's penalty wrapped up a comfortable victory for La Viola, who are now unbeaten in their last 11 games in all competitions. 

Fiorentina were much the better team in the first half and took a deserved lead when Cabral rose highest to head home Cristiano Biraghi's cross in the 20th minute. 

Gonzalez should have doubled his side's lead before the break, but the winger saw his close-range header expertly saved by Mouhamadou Sarr's save.

Half-time substitute Cyriel Dessers forced a good save from Pietro Terracciano but Fiorentina found their second when Gonzalez slotted home from the spot after Cabral's effort was blocked by Emanuel Aiwu's hand, with the centre-back sent off after a VAR check. 

Vincenzo Italiano's side take their two-goal advantage into the second leg, with the fixture taking place on April 27 at the Artemio Franchi Stadium.

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."

Inter striker Romelu Lukaku has called for action from Serie A officials after allegedly being targeted by racist chants from Juventus fans following his equaliser at the Allianz Stadium.

The Belgium international netted a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time to earn Inter a 1-1 draw in Tuesday's Coppa Italia semi-final first leg, before using his finger to shush the home fans.

Referee Davide Massa booked Lukaku for the celebration and showed the goalscorer a second yellow card following a heated aftermath that spilled over past full-time, leading to Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado and Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic also seeing red.

Lukaku pointed to his previous experiences of racism in Italy as he responded to the events with an Instagram post.

He said: "History repeats. [I've] been through it in 2019 and [now in] 2023 again.

"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."

The post has received supportive comments from Kylian Mbappe, Vinicius Junior and Mario Balotelli among others.

Jerome Boateng also tweeted in support, saying: "We'll always have your back Rom! F*** Racism!"

Earlier on Wednesday, Lukaku's agency ROC Nation Sports International also responded to the incident, calling for an apology from Juventus and action from Italian authorities.

Via a statement on Twitter, the agency's president Michael Yormark said: "The racist remarks made towards Romelu Lukaku by Juventus fans in Turin were beyond despicable and cannot be accepted.

"Romelu deserves an apology from Juventus, and I expect the league to condemn the behaviour of this group of Juventus supporters immediately.

"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."

Romelu Lukaku's representatives have demanded an apology from Juventus and called on the Italian authorities to take action after their client suffered "despicable" racist abuse.

Inter forward Lukaku netted a 95th-minute penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw in Tuesday's Coppa Italia semi-final first leg between the two Serie A heavyweights.

However, Lukaku subsequently received a second yellow card after his celebration, which included holding a finger up to his lips in a "shushing" gesture to Juve's fans, resulted in a melee between the teams. Juve winger Juan Cuadrado and Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic also saw red.

Lukaku's agency, Roc Nation Sports International, said the 29-year-old had been subject to racist abuse from sections of the home fanbase in Turin.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Roc Nation Sports International president Michael Yormark wrote: "The 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.

"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."

Inter coach Simone Inzaghi also came to the forward's defence.

"I see a player who scores, celebrates, and everything happens there. Lukaku's celebration was misunderstood," he said.

"It certainly wasn't a nice sight to see in a well-conducted and fair match until the 94th minute."

On Wednesday, Inter tweeted: "We are brothers and sisters of the world. Since 9 March 1908, this has been our story.

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

Simone Inzaghi defended the "misunderstood" Romelu Lukaku celebrations after the Inter striker sparked late carnage at Juventus on Tuesday.

Loanee forward Lukaku restored parity with a 95th-minute penalty at Allianz Stadium, leaving Inter on level terms after a 1-1 Coppa Italia semi-final first-leg draw.

The Belgium international celebrated in front of Juve's Curva Nord, immediately prompting a confrontation with Juan Cuadrado that saw Lukaku receive his marching orders for a second yellow card.

Cuadrado, who scored the 83rd-minute opener, was then dismissed for a clash with Inter captain Samir Handanovic after the full-time whistle as tempers continued to boil over in Turin.

Inzaghi insisted Lukaku's reaction was understandable, though, as the Inter coach bemoaned losing his key forward and goalkeeper Handanovic to suspension.

Asked whether Lukaku's celebration was towards the crowd, Inzaghi told Mediaset: "Yes. This was clear, but it goes beyond this.

"I see a player who scores, celebrates, and everything happens there. Lukaku's celebration was misunderstood.

"It certainly wasn't a nice sight to see in a well-conducted and fair match until the 94th minute.

"[But] now I have to be clear-headed and think that for the return semi-final. Lukaku's celebration will deprive me of him and Handanovic."

Juve goalkeeper Mattia Perin was left far from impressed by what he deemed to be a disrespectful act by Lukaku, who appeared to shush a section of Bianconeri supporters behind the goal.

"We have to be the first to set an example, but in these games it's difficult to hold back," Perin told Sky Sport Italia.

"It's a lack of respect to celebrate under the Curva of the opposing team."

A hard-fought draw somewhat halted Inter's slide, having headed to Juve on the back of three straight Serie A defeats that have left the Nerazzurri's top-four place in doubt.

Inter are level on points with fifth-placed Roma and just six clear of Juve despite their 15-point deduction, but Inzaghi is buoyed by the support of the Nerazzurri faithful.

He said: "Our supporters are unique and incomparable. We lost a home game on Saturday, and up to the end, the Curva never left us.

"We are Inter, it's normal to expect different results. There was a call for everyone that we expect more and better. Tonight was a great response from players to the whole environment."

Massimiliano Allegri was left to rue an "avoidable situation" as Romelu Lukaku's last-gasp leveller for Inter left Juventus "very angry" on Tuesday.

Lukaku equalised with a 95th-minute penalty at Allianz Stadium to cancel out Juan Cuadrado's 83rd-minute opener in the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg.

Chaotic scenes followed as Lukaku was dismissed for his celebrations after restoring parity, while Cuadrado and Inter captain Samir Handanovic received their marching orders for a clash after full-time.

While Allegri suggested he missed the carnage unfolding after the full-time whistle, the Juve coach called on the Bianconeri players to regroup after an avoidable late goal for Simone Inzaghi's visitors.

He told Mediaset: "I don't know anything because the match was over and I went in. I know there were some dismissals.

"It's a pity because the game was over and we needed to be quicker on the first ball that came out.

"[Filip] Kostic could have been a little smarter but the match was balanced and the result was fair. We're sorry because with 20 seconds to go it was an avoidable situation.

"I saw the boys very angry about this draw but we have to be good at accepting it."

Juve will head to San Siro on April 26 with the last-four clash finely poised, though Allegri's side must focus on a crucial run-in this month before then.

The Bianconeri visit Lazio in Serie A on Sunday, trailing the top four by just six points despite their 15-point deduction following an investigation into previous transfer dealings.

A two-legged Europa League quarter-final against Sporting CP follows either side of a league meeting with Sassuolo, before Juve host Serie A leaders Napoli ahead of the return Coppa Italia meeting with Inter.

Asked in a press conference whether Lukaku's late leveller will hit harder due to Inter holding the advantage on away goals, Allegri responded: "We have that match in a month, now we have important commitments. 

"We have three league games before the return plus Sporting. We'll think about the Coppa Italia later. 

"It will be a tight match where we will need to win, but now we need to focus on the championship."

Romelu Lukaku scored a last-gasp penalty before being sent off as Inter snatched a 1-1 draw at Juventus in a fiery Coppa Italia semi-final first leg on Tuesday.

Loan forward Lukaku restored parity for Inter deep into stoppage time at Allianz Stadium after Bremer was adjudged to have handled inside his area, before the goalscorer was dismissed for an altercation with Juan Cuadrado.

Cuadrado, who earlier thought he had won the game with his 83rd-minute strike, also saw red after the final whistle along with Inter captain Samir Handanovic following a clash between the pair.

The manic conclusion leaves the tie delicately poised as Inter return home on April 26 looking to reach the final and exact revenge for being on the wrong end of a Derby d'Italia double in Serie A this season.

Massimiliano Allegri insists Juventus will not underestimate Inter despite the Nerazzurri being in free fall.

The two teams meet on Tuesday in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals, less than three weeks since they last met in Serie A.

On that occasion, a Filip Kostic goal helped Juventus to a 1-0 victory in an ill-tempered encounter that saw both sides end with 10 men on the pitch.

That result contributed to a four-game winless streak for Inter, but despite their troubles, Allegri still sees Simone Inzaghi's side as a serious threat.

"It's a different competition, but it's always Juventus [versus] Inter," he said. "We must create the conditions in order to qualify.

"It's not an easy game. Inter remain a strong side, regardless of the moment [they are in]. Actually, it is in these moments that we have to keep our attention.

"Too much praise for Juventus could lead us to lose touch with reality. We face a strong team, physically and technically. They have lost a few games, [but] we need to pay attention."

On the under-fire Inzaghi, who has led both Lazio and Inter to Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana success as a coach, Allegri believes his record speaks for itself.

"I think Inzaghi is doing a great job," he added. "Inter are a strong team regardless of their moment. It's dangerous to meet these teams now. We need to be fully focused."

Allegri confirmed the availability of Federico Chiesa and offered a positive update on Paul Pogba's ongoing recovery.

"[Chiesa] is available. He had his knee checked in Austria. He has this tendon inflammation, but he's feeling better and he'll improve. He is available and he’ll go on the bench.

"Paul Pogba has partially trained with the team. From Wednesday, he will stay with the team more and work to improve his shape."

Inter deserve more respect in the Champions League after progressing from a group containing Bayern Munich and Barcelona, Nerazzurri goalkeeper Andre Onana says.

Simone Inzaghi's side finished second in Group C in UEFA's top club competition, with a home win and an away draw against Xavi's Blaugrana proving crucial to their group-stage progression.

Inter then negotiated a tough last-16 task against Porto, winning 1-0 on aggregate in the two-legged affair, and face Benfica in the quarter-final.

The Nerazzurri could face either runaway Serie A leaders Napoli or Milan in the last four as Italian clubs dominate in Europe, and Onana believes his side should get more credit.

"We deserve more respect in Europe, given that we sent Barcelona to the Europa League and faced a complicated group," he told Mediaset on Tuesday.

"We have shown that we are a strong team. It doesn't matter what will happen in the next round, we will face Benfica to win. I want to win everything."

The Scudetto appears destined for Napoli, who are 19 points clear at the Serie A summit, but Inter are still fighting on two fronts for silverware.

Alongside their Champions League exploits, a Coppa Italia semi-final against Juventus awaits, with the first leg coming in a week at Allianz Stadium.

Onana insists Inter can go all the way due to their preparations and performances under Inzaghi.

He added: "We must always play without fear. If there is fear, it's better not to take the field. A difficult month awaits us, but we prepare every day to play matches like those against Juventus and Benfica.

"I am convinced that if we work in the right way, it will be a month full of satisfaction."

Before the Coppa Italia clash with Juventus, Inter – who are third in Serie A – host Fiorentina in the league on Saturday.

France midfielder Adrien Rabiot would not suggest whether he plans to remain at Juventus despite his contract only running until the end of the season.

The Bianconeri are still fighting in the Europa League and Coppa Italia, after a 15-point deduction derailed their league campaign.

Rabiot insisted he is focused on the remainder of Juve's season rather than being drawn on his personal position in a Tuttosport interview.

He said: "My future? For the moment there is no news, but we will definitely talk soon, because in about two months the season will be over and we will try to discuss [it], but I'm calm.

"There is the possibility of leaving but also the possibility of signing a new contract with Juve.

"I feel good in Turin, I do a good job at the club and there is a good relationship with the management, my team-mates and the coach, who has also helped me.

"I believe all of this is important to feel good and therefore make the right choice for my future."

Rabiot might well have left Juve last year, when he reportedly came close to joining Manchester United, though a move to Old Trafford fell through.

After a difficult start to the season, Juve had thrust themselves into the Serie A title race. However, their chances were ended by a 15-point deduction due to financial irregularities.

As a result, Juve went into the international break in seventh, seven points behind fourth-placed Milan with 11 games remaining.

Rabiot added: "Without the 15 points [deduction] we would be able to qualify for the Champions League.

"But honestly, I say that we could qualify even if the penalty were to remain. I believe it.

"We are focussed on all fronts and clearly the Europa League is something we will try and win.

"There are still many good teams left, but we want to achieve something important. I'm confident we can win both the Europa League and the Coppa.

"We are having a complicated season for all the reasons that are known, but I believe that despite this, we are able to win.

"In fact, to be honest, I can also say that succeeding would give us even greater satisfaction."

Juve's second game after the international break is the first leg of their Coppa semi-final against Inter, with the Bianconeri having beaten Simone Inzaghi's side at the San Siro in Serie A to round off their pre-break fixtures.

"The lads in the team have a lot of desire to win, also because it is the historical spirit of Juventus," Rabiot said.

"The DNA of the club is clear, and we all want to pass it on to those who arrive.

"If I have to tell the truth, the impression I got on Sunday is, Inter is a team less strong than the one we faced in Turin.

"They also seemed less strong than last year. I had the feeling that they felt less confidence."

Rabiot's initial focus is on France, with Les Bleus facing the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland in Euro 2024 qualifiers over the coming days.

Gleison Bremer said his Juventus team-mates have pledged to ignore the Bianconeri's off-pitch woes after scoring the winner in Thursday's Coppa Italia quarter-final against Lazio.

Bremer diverted Filip Kostic's cross home with a glancing header on the stroke of half-time as Juve clinched a 1-0 win over the Biancocelesti, teeing up a semi-final tie against Inter.

The win provided welcome relief for a side sitting 13th in Serie A after being issued with a 15-point deduction last month, a sanction which has been compounded by a three-game winless run in the league. 

Speaking after his goal sent Juve to their eighth Coppa Italia semi-final in nine seasons, Bremer admitted off-pitch issues had impacted the team in recent weeks, but revealed the squad's pledge to rediscover their focus.

"I'm happy with this goal, but it was important to go through at this moment," the Brazil international told Mediaset.

"We know we've played two games not up to par, but we talked to each other and what happens off the pitch cannot spill onto the pitch. The club will take care of it, we will take care of the pitch. 

"Juventus are a top-level team, let's score as many points as possible and see where we'll be at end of the championship. 

"At the beginning of the year we lost a little something, then we spoke and we found each other."

Since the Coppa Italia quarter-finals became one-legged affairs in the 2008-09 season, Juve have won nine of their 10 such fixtures at home, the only exception being a 2011 defeat to Roma.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri hailed Juve's mentality after the hard-fought victory, highlighting the improvements made since Sunday's shock defeat to Monza. 

"The most important thing is the attitude, which was missing in the first half against Monza, where we conceded two easy goals," Allegri said.

"The boys were good. They are responsible. They must understand that to win matches, in addition to tactics and technique, you need the right spirit. 

"Today we won many tackles, we arrived first in duels, we defended well and played in an orderly and patient manner against good pressure from Lazio."

Juventus were without Paul Pogba for Thursday's win, with the midfielder seeing his second debut for the club delayed once more after suffering another minor injury.

Allegri does not expect him to return against Salernitana on Tuesday, saying: "Pogba is unlikely to be available in Salerno, because he's been doing little or nothing for a week. We hope to have him back as soon as possible because he's a player we count on. 

"I've been in the world of football for 50 years. When things go against you, then you have to be patient to get out of it."

Juventus cast aside their recent woes to tee up an enticing Coppa Italia semi-final against Inter on Thursday as Gleison Bremer's first-half header guided them to a 1-0 win against Lazio.

The Coppa Italia appears to represent Juve's best chance of silverware this season after a 15-point deduction ended their slim Serie A title hopes, and the hosts were good value for their win after dominating for long periods.

Massimiliano Allegri's men missed two good chances before hitting the front on the stroke of half-time, with Bremer flicking Filip Kostic's inch-perfect delivery home.

Juve were rarely troubled at the other end as Maurizio Sarri's visitors disappointed in the final third, and they will face their Derby d'Italia rivals across two legs in the last four after this routine win.

Kostic drew a fingertip save from Luis Maximiano as Juve got on top after a tight opening to the contest, before Adrien Rabiot headed straight at the goalkeeper when left unmarked just before the half-hour mark.

The Bianconeri made their pressure count one minute before the break as Bremer met Kostic's inswinging cross with a glancing header, which beat Maximiano to nestle in the bottom-left corner.

Luis Alberto saw a long-range strike deflect narrowly over as Lazio improved following the half-time introduction of Pedro, while Danilo Cataldi worked Mattia Perin with a 25-yard free-kick.

Juve substitute Moise Kean forced Maximiano into action at his near post following a rapid break with 20 minutes remaining, as the hosts looked to put the game to bed.

Adam Marusic fizzed a long-range effort wide of the bottom-right corner as Lazio continued to hunt a leveller, but that was as close as they came to breaking down a resolute Juve backline.

Page 2 of 9
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.