Romelu Lukaku suspension following racist abuse sends ‘wrong signal’, says lawyer
- Belgian dismissed against Juventus
- Subjected to racist taunts from the stands
- Must now sit out a Serie A fixture
WHAT HAPPENED? The Belgium international was shown a second yellow card, leading to red, after netting from the penalty spot in a Coppa Italia semi-final clash with Juventus. Lukaku was considered to have indulged in a “provocative celebration” in the closing stages of that contest, as he faced those aiming racist insults in his direction, closed his eyes and stuck fingers in his ears. The decision to send him off has caused outrage, as has the ruling stating that he must serve a suspension.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Lukaku’s representative, Sebastien Ledure, has told Tuttosport: “It’s really unfortunate that what has already happened in the past, not only to Romelu, but also to other players, has been repeated. We are in 2023 and it’s crazy that certain concepts have to be repeated. There are clear rules, which provide for certain measures, such as disqualification if you get two yellow cards.
"But it is obvious that even just from a moral point of view what happened to Lukaku is wrong. It affects the tournament, as Romelu, who did nothing wrong, will miss the return match. In short, he will be banned from doing his job, despite the fact that he is the one who received racist abuse. The disqualification of Lukaku is clearly not a good start, but a wrong signal.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Inter are due to be back in Serie A action on Friday at home to Salernitana, with Lukaku set to sit out that contest after taking his goal tally for the season to six during what has been a testing spell back at San Siro.
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WHAT NEXT? While the 29-year-old frontman will be missing for domestic duty, he will be available for the first leg of a Champions League quarter-final showdown with Benfica on Tuesday.