Romelu Lukaku was targeted by monkey chants before putting Inter Milan top of Serie A with the winning penalty in their 2-1 triumph at Cagliari. He was preparing to take the spot-kick in the 71st minute in Sardinia when the racist chants came from the crowd and continued for several seconds.
The 26-year-old Belgian international looked towards the stands before confidently converting his second goal, which came after Lautaro Martinez’s 28th minute opener and Joao Pedro’s leveler for the hosts four minutes after the break.
Lukaku was quickly surrounded by his teammates as Inter won their second from two league matches to sit ahead of champions Juventus, who also are on maximum points following their thrilling 4-3 win over Napoli on Saturday.
Racist chanting has dogged Italian stadia in recent years, with former Italy striker Moise Kean who now lays for Everton also was a victim of similar abuse — alongside teammate Blaise Matuidi — at Cagliari after he scored a goal there for his former team Juventus last April.
Kalidou Koulibaly was showered with monkey chants last season, while several other black players have been targeted.
“I have to be honest, I was so into the game that I didn’t hear what the crowd chanted. Having said that, I think that Italy has a lot of work ahead in dealing with these kind of issues, whether it being in football or in other professions.”
“I’m not just talking about tonight, last week Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the same thing when he was insulted. Abroad, the fans go to the stadium to cheer for their team. They expect a lot from their team but it ends there. They don’t insult the player doing their job.”
“I can understand the frustration from the fans but there must be some kind of respect. In Italy we need to improve this matter. For me it was fine, nobody insulted me today, but often there are a lot of insults where nobody says anything. This is bad.” Conte said.