Romelu Lukaku calls for an end to racism in football

Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku in action with Lecce's Zan Majer during the Serie A match between Inter Milan and Lecce, at San Siro, in Milan, Italy, at August 26, 2019. Photo: Reuters
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Romelu Lukaku has urged football coaches, investors, and stakeholders such as social media firms to help curb rising racism in the football world.

The Belgian star who currently plays for Inter Milan also called on footballers to stand together against racist abuse, adding that the situation is getting worse.

Lukaku was targeted during last Sunday’s match against Cagliari. The striker stepped up for a penalty kick in the second half but was racially abused before he scored to give Inter a 2-1 win.

The match against Cagliari was Lukaku’s second match since joining the Italian club from Manchester United.

However, racism has been a problem in Serie A. In recent seasons, footballers like Blaise Matuidi, Moise Kean have been racially abused in previous matches against Juventus. Ghanaian player Sulley Muntari also experienced racism while playing for Pescara in 2017.

In his Tweet with the hashtag #SayNoToRacism, Lukaku wrote that many players have suffered racist abuse in recent weeks as he has, too.

He continued, “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. I hope the football federations all over the world react strongly on all cases of discrimination!!!”

Lukaku, 26, called out Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for not doing enough, adding that the social media platforms need to watch out for “racist comments” against people of colour. “We’ve been saying this for many years and nothing has been done,” the former Everton player added.

Shortly after Lukaku’s social media post, Cagliari firmly criticized fans who allegedly attacked their visitors, saying the incident “underlines, once, again its intention to identify and ban those ignorant individuals whose shameful actions are completely against the club’s values.”

It concluded by saying: “Full solidarity to Romelu Lukaku and an even stronger commitment toward annihilating one of the worst plagues that affects football and our world.

“However, as we are aware that technology is not enough, we believe our commitment needs real support from the rest of football’s stakeholders: starting with all the true supporters, to all the stewards in the stands, from police and security staff, to the media and through to Serie A and the Italian FA.”

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