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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

‘Give him 10 bananas,’ Italian TV station fires pundit for making racist comments on Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku was recently subject to racist abuse by Cagliari supporters and even asked the Italian football administration to combat racism in stadiums if they want to attract the world’s top players to Serie A.

football Updated: Sep 17, 2019 14:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their third goal.
Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their third goal.(REUTERS)
         

Ever since his move to Inter Milan, Romelu Lukaku has been facing a tough time in Italian football. It is not because he hasn’t been able to hit the ground running as he already has two goals for his new team. But he has been a target of racist slurs from the opposition fans. Lukaku was recently subject to racist abuse by Cagliari supporters and even asked the Italian football administration to combat racism in stadiums if they want to attract the world’s top players to Serie A.

However, it is not just the fans who are prone to making racist comments in Italy. Even the television pundits have made those condemnable remarks. Recently an Italian television pundit, Luciano Passirani made a racist comment about Lukaku on TopCalcio24 TV.

“If you go one-on-one with him he will murder you.

“The only way to come up against him is maybe give him 10 bananas to eat,’ said Passirani.

After an outcry on social media, programme director Fabio Ravezzani confirmed that Passirani will make an appearance on their telecast any more. He said that despite Passirani’s immediate apologies ‘he could no longer participate in our broadcasts”.

“Mr Passirani is 80 years old and to compliment Lukaku he used a metaphor that turned out to be racist,” added Ravezzani.

“I think it was a terrible lack of momentary lucidity. I cannot tolerate any kind of errors, even if momentary,” he said.

Lukaku moved to Antonio Conte’s Inter from Premier League giants Manchester United in the summer and scored the only goal of the match against Udinese to help his side to victory.

Lukaku had earlier commented that game was going backwards after he faced racist abuse from Cagliary fans.

Lukaku was recently subjected to monkey chants by Cagliari fans when he scored a penalty for his side in a 2-1 victory.

The members of an Inter fan group had claimed that Cagliari supporters were showing the Belgian forward a form of “respect” with the racist comments.

“You have to understand that Italy is not like many other north European countries where racism is a real problem. We understand that it could have seemed racist to you but it is not like that. In Italy we use some ‘ways’ only to ‘help our teams’ and to try to make our opponents nervous, not for racism but to mess them up,’ said a statement from Inter fan group Curva Nord.

“Please consider this attitude of Italian fans as a form of respect for the fact they are afraid of you for the goals you might score against their teams and not because they hate you or they are racist.”

First Published: Sep 16, 2019 18:07 IST

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