Juventus supporters banned by Italian authorities over racist abuse directed at Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring against Juventus

FOOTBALL Juventus supporters banned by Italian authorities over racist abuse directed at Lukaku

Joel Omotto • 20:30 - 24.04.2023

The Inter Milan striker was subjected to monkey chants during the two teams’ Coppa Italia meeting last month

A total of 171 Juventus supporters have been banned by Italian police after an investigation into the racist abuse directed at Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku during the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg in early April.

The Belgian striker was subjected to monkey chants from a section of Juventus supporters behind the goal after he converted a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw

Video footage showed Juventus fans chanting 'f***ing monkey' and 'f*** off' at Lukaku, who was shown a second yellow card and sent off for shushing them during his celebrations - with the referee deciding this was provocative.

Inter appealed Lukaku's ban but it was originally upheld by Italy's Sports Court of Appeal, before the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), Gabriele Gravina, personally intervened and overturned the ban on Saturday as a measure to fight racism - meaning the striker can play in Wednesday's second leg.

After the decision to overturn his ban, Lukaku said: “I believe that thanks to his intervention justice has been done and this sends out a great message to the whole world of sport and beyond. This has shown that the desire is there to fight racism.”

The 171 supporters responsible for the racist chanting were identified as a result of videos and images of the crowd being examined.

They will be subjected to the Daspo - effectively a stadium banning order - and will also be hit with fines for violating regulations in regards to orderly behaviour in stadiums.