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Italian injustice no great surprise for Romelu Lukaku | Paddy Agnew

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

07:41 18 Sep 2019

As Italian football's latest high-profile incident of racist abuse goes once again unpunished, football writer Paddy Agnew explained to Off the Ball why the country appears immune to change on this matter. 

The target of racially incentivised abuse during Inter Milan's 2-1 win over Cagliari on September 1, Romelu Lukaku must now contend with the dissatisfaction of seeing the perpetrators go unpunished.

In what came as no great surprise, the Italian Football Federation announced on Tuesday that Cagliari would face no sanction for the behaviour of their fans.

Subjecting the former Manchester United striker to monkey chants before and after he scored the game's winning goal in the 72nd minute, Paddy Agnew, the Italian-based Irish journalist, expressed his dismay with what has become a largely excused offence in Serie A.

"They got away scot-free practically," he explained to Off the Ball.

"I've talked about this on your program before and many programs elsewhere, but this is a problem of perception.

"The Italian perception of what is racism, what is racist abuse, what is acceptable or unacceptable is a bit out of kilter with mainline Western thinking."

Appalled by the treatment of Romelu Lukaku, Agnew's dismay was not limited to the behaviour of some Cagliari fans.

"When Lukaku took that penalty and was booed at and there were monkey chants, he expressed his dismay on Instagram," explained Agnew.

"Then the Inter fans, his own club, said, 'No, no, no, Lukaku you've got this wrong. That wasn't racism, that's just the way people shout at any player on an opposing team.'

"Clearly, this isn't so. We know this was racism, end of story."

Describing the official response to such incidents as slow verging on glacial, Paddy Agnew does not expect any great change in how such behaviour is treated.

Furthermore, he does not expect the issue to become a pressing concern for UEFA, either. For a full breakdown of Agnew's thoughts on the matter and Italian football at large, visit OTB's YouTube channel here.

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Cagliari FIGC Inter Milan Paddy Agnew Romelu Lukaku Serie A

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