Inter have Romelu Lukaku appeal rejected after racist abuse meaning Belgian will miss Juventus semi-final return leg

Romelu Lukaku Inter Juventus 2022-23
Inter’s appeal against the one-match ban handed to Romelu Lukaku after he reacted to racist abuse in a meeting with Juventus has been rejected.

The Belgium international striker was dismissed after collecting a second yellow card in the closing stages of a Coppa Italia clash with the Bianconeri on April 4.

Lukaku, who was targeted by racist abuse from the stands, converted a 95th-minute penalty, but then saw red after closing his eyes and putting his fingers in his ears while celebrating.

Those actions were considered to be provocative, despite Lukaku having celebrated in such a manner before and finding himself subjected to taunts that have become all too common in Italian football.

Lukaku posted on social media when calling on the relevant authorities to take action against narrow-minded individuals in the crowd: “History repeats. [I've] been through it in 2019.. and 2023 again.. I hope the league really take actions for real this time because this beautiful game should be enjoyed by everyone… Thank you for the supportive messages. F*ck racism.”

Inter took their case to the FIGC Court of Appeal, with the Milan-based giants of the opinion that no suspension should be served, but those pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

As a result, Lukaku will now sit out the return leg of a Coppa Italia clash with Juve on April 26 – with that contest locked at 1-1.

While Inter have seen an appeal knocked back, Juve have been successful in receiving clearance to fully open their Curva after seeing it closed for one game – with the Turin giants moving to identify and ban those that were responsible for the abuse aimed at Lukaku.