Romelu Lukaku: Italian pundit sacked after making racist comments about the Inter Milan striker. The director of the TV station apologized soon after.
Romelu Lukaku left Manchester United in search of regular playing time, something he wasn’t assured at Old Trafford. The Belgian was determined to prove that he was still a world class player. With 2 goals in 3 games, he is well on his way to prove his critics wrong.
The Brute of a striker has won over several people in Italy with his performance including Luciano Passirani, an Italian football journalist. Passirani was full of praise for him on the Qui Studio a Voi Stadio show.
Did he really say that?
While debating in favor of Lukaku, during their debate over his impact for Inter Milan, the 80-year old said:
“Lukaku is one of the best signings that Inter could have made. I don’t see another player like him on any other team in Italy. He is one of the strongest, I like him a lot because he has that strength. He is the twin of [Dúvan] Zapata at Atalanta.”
“They have something extra that the rest don’t have, and then they score the goals and drag your team forward. This guy kills you in the one-on-ones, if you try to challenge him you wind up on the floor. Either you have 10 bananas to eat, that you give to him, or …”
Passirani was quickly interrupted before he could finish talking. He then apologized for his remark stating that he was only trying to make a joke and had no intention of being racist.
The director of the show, Fabio Ravezzani, also soon appeared on screen to reiterate the apology before confirming the sacking of Passirani.
Per The Guardian, Ravezzani said:
“Mr Passirani is 80 years old and to compliment Lukaku he used a metaphor that turned out to be racist.
“I think it was a terrible lack of momentary lucidity. I cannot tolerate any kind of errors, even if momentary.”
— Nima Tavallaey Roodsari (@NimaTavRood) September 15, 2019
Not an isolated incident
Lukaku was also the subject of racist chants during Inter Milan’s away match against Cagliari. While stepping up to take the penalty, the home fans began making monkey noises. The incident has since been met with criticism and many have asked the Italian FA to take action.
However, since then, the Inter Ultra’s have written to Lukaku supporting the action of the Cagliari fans.
“You have to understand that Italy is not like many other north European countries where racism is a REAL problem,” said the statement, published on Facebook by a group who occupy the second tier of the Curva Nord at Inter’s San Siro home. “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.”
The statement from the Ultra’s and Passirani show that racism is indeed a Real problem in Italy. One that is deeply rooted in the society and it will take a lot to counter it.
Click here for more football news