Juve given partial stadium ban over Lukaku abuse


Juventus have been given a partial stadium ban for their next home game in the Italian Cup after some of their supporters directed racist chants at Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku on Tuesday.

Lukaku was sanctioned with a second yellow card for provoking Juve fans by holding his finger to his lips as if to silence the crowd after converting a stoppage-time penalty to earn Inter a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the semifinals.

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Lukaku was suspended for the second leg of the semifinals on April 26 by the Italian league judge on Thursday.

Lukaku’s gesture enraged the opposing team and the game ended in a scuffle between the two squads, with Juve winger Juan Cuadrado and Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic also sent off. Cuadrado was banned for three matches while Handanovic was banned for one game. Each player was fined €10,000 ($11,000).

Part of the southern end of the Allianz Stadium will be closed for Juve’s first home game in next season’s Italian Cup.

The club said they would collaborate with authorities to identify the fans responsible while Lukaku’s management company reacted with outrage to the yellow card handed to the center forward.

“The Italian authorities must use this opportunity to tackle racism, rather than punish the victim of the abuse,” Roc Nation Sports International president Michael Yormark said.

Lukaku has been subjected to racist chants on numerous occasions during his two stints at Inter.

The incident involving Lukaku comes amid an uptick in racist incidents in European football.

Also on Thursday, RB Leipzig defender Benjamin Henrichs published hateful messages, including racist abuse, that he received on Instagram following his team’s 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup.

“We live in a society where everyone on the internet can spread hate and racism,” Henrichs wrote in German with a hashtag meaning “unfortunate truth.”

Leipzig also denounced the abuse.

“Leipzig condemns any form of racism, condemns antisemitism and does not tolerate any form of discrimination,” the club said.

On Tuesday, Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior testified against a Mallorca fan accused of racially insulting him at a Spanish league game, saying he will not accept an apology. LaLiga have filed eight complaints to court over incidents of racist abuse towards the Brazil international.

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