A section of the Inter Milan ultras group ‘Curva Nord’ has claimed that the monkey chants aimed at Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku by Cagliari fans in last Sunday’s Serie A encounter were not meant to be racist.
Lukaku was whitleed at by Cagliari fans as he was about to convert the penalty which gave Inter Milan a 2-1 win in last Sunday’s Serie A encounter.
The forward has demanded immediate action from the Italian football authorities following the incident.
A group called ‘L’Urlo Della Nord’ says Lukaku “has to understand” that – in Italy – fans have “ways only to help our teams and to try to make opponents nervous” – and they do not believe them to be racist.
“Hi Romelu, we are writing to you on behalf of Curva Nord, yes the guys who welcomed you at your arrival in Milan. We are really sorry you thought that what happened in Cagliari was racist,” the group said via a statement on Facebook.
“You have to understand that Italy is not like many other north European countries where racism is a real problem. We understand that it could have seemed racist to you but it is not like that.
“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.
“We are a multi-ethnic fans organisation and we have always welcomed players from everywhere. However, we have always used that ‘way’ with other teams’ players in the past and we probably will in the future.
“We are not racist and so are not the Cagliari fans.”
The statement went on to argue that the fight against racism should not begin in football stadiums but in schools and that fans behave differently in stadiums than in the outside world.
On Tuesday, the Italian league’s disciplinary judge says he needed more evidence before deciding if Cagliari should be punished for the chants, which judge Gerardo Mastrandrea did not refer to as “racist” in his weekly report.