Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku was the subject of monkey chants from Cagliari fans Sunday, the latest in a string of racist incidents that have marred the Italian club in recent years.

Lukaku, who was playing his second game for Inter having signed from Manchester United last month, received the abuse before and after scoring a second-half penalty to give his team a 2-1 win over the Sardinian side.

He refused to celebrate, instead staring into the stands in the direction of the chants.

Inter boss Antonio Conte insists he did not hear the noises from his touchline position, but said in a news conference after the game that “in Italy we must improve a lot and be more educated and respectful towards those doing their job.”

“In other countries you support the team; you don’t insult the opposition like this,” Conte added. “There must be the maximum respect. Today I was treated well and wasn’t insulted, other times it hasn’t happened like that and it’s not nice.”

Lukaku scored his second goal in as many games for Inter.
Lukaku scored his second goal in as many games for Inter.


CNN has reached out to Serie A, Cagliari and the Italian FA for comment, with Serie A confirming that a statement will be issued later on Monday.

Earlier this year, Everton forward Moise Kean was racially abused by Cagliari fans while playing for Juventus.

At the time, teammate Leonardo Bonucci said Kean had to take “50-50 of the blame” for the abuse he was subjected to after lifting his arms aloft and looking to the stands. His remarks were later criticized by Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling, among others.

France international Blaise Matuidi spoke out last year after being racially abused during Juventus’ match against Cagliari, and then in 2017, midfielder Sulley Muntari was racially abused while playing for Pescara at Cagliari.

Muntari was booked after remonstrated with fans, after which he walked from the pitch and was booked again. He initially received a one-match ban that was later rescinded.

Lukaku celebrates after scoring against US Lecce.
Lukaku celebrates after scoring against US Lecce.


“It’s a club that has a history of repeat offenses in similar incidents,” Italian football journalist Adam Digby told CNN Sport.

“If you look at the way that these things are handled in England or in Germany, it just wouldn’t stand. It just carries on and on and on with Cagliari.

“The Italian FA’s refusal to condemn them for it — it remains to be seen if it will actually be given the official status that it has been a racist incident from a disciplinary point of view.”

In a broadcast of the game that was aired on ESPN, the commentator remarks on the abuse from fans after Lukaku scores the penalty. However, in the official highlights posted by Serie A, these remarks are edited out of the commentary.

In a post-game interview, Lukaku wasn’t asked about the incident.

As reported by CNN