It looks like Italian fans will never learn, as they’re back at their racist antics, this time towards Internazionale’s Romelu Lukaku, the team’s most recent reinforcement ahead of this season.
Cagliari supporters started making monkey sounds towards Lukaku during their side’s 2-1 loss vs. the Nerazzurri, fueling yet another controversy about racism and soccer in the Serie A.
Therefore, former Manchester United great Paul Ince claimed this is not a new issue, and went on to blast Italian fans for their racist behavior and the fact that UEFA has done little-to-nothing to put it to an end.
“Racism was such a big issue when I was playing in Italy, so I’m unfortunately not surprised about what’s happened with Romelu Lukaku. It’s funny because I remember going to Cremonese as an Inter Milan player. I went out for the ball with the goalkeeper and he keeper fouled me. We both went down and was rolling around for a bit. I got up just to show I wasn’t hurt and carried on playing.
Then, suddenly half the stadium was shouting racial abuse at me. The ball came out – on the edge of the box – and I hard volleyed it straight in the top right-hand corner. But I’d done my hip in and I was trying to stay on because I didn’t want to come off and let them know I was hurt. But for the next 20 minutes or so, until half time, they were shouting awful stuff at me, ‘negro’ and ‘negro di merda’ – that kind of thing. That was terrible,” Ince told Paddy Power, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
Moreover, the England international acknowledged the fact that things were even worse back in the day, claiming Italian supporters have been getting away with it for decades and UEFA must do something to stop it:
“So, it’s always been there. As I say, it was probably even worse when I first went to join Inter, there was even a racist remark on the wall about me, since the first day I landed there. It’s always been there. It feels like Italian fans have always got away with it – their federation never stamped down on it, and so they still feel they can use that kind of behavior to affect black players.”I don’t think UEFA did or do enough to stop it, they have to set a precedent down with all teams, whether it’s in Italy, France, England, wherever – everyone, but they’re not doing it,” he concluded.
As for Lukaku, he’s already scored two goals in the same number of appearances for Antonio Conte’s team, so it looks like racist fans will need to do a better job trying to get into his head if they intend to stop him.