Cagliari avoid sanctions for Lukaku monkey chants

Tuesday September 17 2019

Belgium's striker Romelu Lukaku celebrates

Belgium's striker Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring the opening goal during the the Euro 2020 football qualification match between Scotland and Belgium at Hampden Park, Glasgow on September 9, 2019. AFP PHOTO  

By AFP

Cagliari have escaped punishment for the racist chanting their fans aimed at Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku in a Serie A match earlier this month, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced Tuesday.
Belgian Lukaku, 26, was targeted by monkey chants before scoring the winning penalty that earned Inter Milan a 2-1 triumph in Sardinia on September 1.

But the FIGC's sports judges ruled that reports of "chants, shouts, whistles and screams" from the home fans' 'Curva Nord' (North Stand) just before Lukaku's penalty could not be considered discriminatory in terms of "size and real perception".
"The sport judge has decided not to apply sanctions against Cagliari," the sports judges ruled.

After scoring the penalty, Lukaku made a post-match plea for football authorities to unite against the blight of racism.
Everton's Moise Kean suffered similar taunts while playing for Juventus at Cagliari's Sardegna Arena, alongside teammate Blaise Matuidi, after he scored a goal there for his former team Juventus last April.

Cagliari, who issued a statement after the match condemning the abuse, were however fined 5,000 euros ($5,500) for fans throwing plastic bottles at officials onto the pitch.

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