Inter launch appeal against Romelu Lukaku's one-match ban after racism storm at Juventus
Inter have officially filed an appeal to rescind Lukaku's ban, which was handed out after the player received two bookings in the club's Coppa Italia semi-final first leg against Juventus - as Sport Italia reports.
The player was targeted with racist chants before he took a late penalty kick. After scoring from the spot, Lukaku celebrated by making a "shh" gesture towards the Juventus fans. He was swiftly shown a second yellow card, and therefore suspended for the second leg of the cup clash.
His sending-off was met with an outcry from around the football world. Lukaku's agency, Roc Nation, issued a statement condemning the decision, and asked Juventus to publicly apologise. The Italian Football Federation then confirmed that they would be upholding Lukaku's one-match ban, which only added fuel to the fire.
Thierry Henry, who coached Lukaku as an assistant with the Belgian national team, was also outraged and called on Italian officials to use "common sense" when dealing with such incidents. Kylian Mbappe also stood up for Lukaku in the days following the incident.
Juventus were originally hit with a partial stadium closure by means of punishment, but appealed the sanction, and will now be at full capacity when they host Napoli next weekend. The Old Lady handed out long-term bans to just two fans in response.
The second leg between Inter and Juventus in the Coppa Italia semi-finals will take place on April 26.