Cagliari avoid punishment over fans’ alleged racist abuse of Lukaku
Cagliari have avoided punishment after supporters allegedly aimed racist abuse at Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku earlier 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 September 1 at the Sardegna Arena.
However, following an investigation the Italian Football Federation’s (FIGC) 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 on Tuesday said the panel had therefore decided not to apply sanctions to Cagliari.
Cagliari police told FIGC 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. I hope the football federations all over (the) world react strongly on all cases of discrimination.”
Cagliari were, meanwhile, fined 5,000 euros (£4,430) after fans threw bottles onto the Stadio Ennio Tardini pitch during Sunday’s 3-1 league win at Parma.