Inter Milan fans tell Romelu Lukaku that monkey songs are not racist
MILAN: A hardcore group Inter de Milan Supporters have written an open letter to Romelu Lukaku Telling the Belgian striker that fans who made monkey noises during a football game was not a sign of racism.
Lukaku -- Inter de Milan 's new 65 million euros ($73 million) recruit from Manchester United -- was targeted by monkey chants from a section of the home crowd during Sunday's A series I play in Cagliari.
The abuse lasted for several seconds as the 26-year-old was preparing to take the winning penalty in Inter's 2-1 A series triumph at Cagliari.
But Inter 'L'Urlo della Nord' fan group told the forward in an open letter posted on his Facebook page that he was seeing racism where there were none.
Hi Romelu We really regret that you thought that what happened in Cagliari was racist, fans wrote.
It must be understood that Italy is not like many other countries in northern Europe where racism is a REAL problem.
We understand that you might have seemed racist, but it is not so.
In Italy we use some 'ways' only to 'help our teams' and to try to make our opponents nervous, not because of racism but to confuse them.
We are a multi-ethnic amateur organization and have always welcomed players from everywhere.
However, we have always used that 'way' with players from other teams in the past and we will probably do so in the future.
We are not racist and neither are Cagliari fans, the Curva Nord group letter continued, which has no official affiliation with Inter.
The group is a section of the unconditional support of the club that is in the North stand of Inter's. San Siro stadium.
On Sunday, monkey sounds were heard in the stadium while Lukaku tried to penalize.
The Belgian international looked angry into the stands before converting his second goal with confidence in the same number of games.
Lukaku was quickly surrounded by his teammates when Inter won their second game of two league games to sit in front of the Juventus champion.
The Sardinian club moved on Monday to distance themselves from the isolated but reprehensible events that took place at the Sardegna Arena.
On Monday, Lukaku called on players, clubs and federations to join and take a stand.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is 2019, instead of moving forward we go back and I think that, as players, we must unify and make a statement on this matter to keep this game clean and enjoyable for everyone.
But Inter fans said Lukaku was seeing racism where there were none.
Consider this attitude of Italian fans as a form of respect for the fact that they fear him for the goals he could score against his teams and not because they hate him or are racist, the letter said.
It must be understood that in all Italian stadiums people cheer on their teams, but at the same time they make fun of their opponents not for racism but for 'helping' their own team.
True racism is a completely different story and all Italian football fans know it very well.
When you declare that racism is a problem to fight in Italy, you only help repression against all football fans, including us, and you contribute to creating a problem that does not really exist, not in the way it is perceived in other countries.
Please help us clarify what racism really is and that Italian fans are not racist.
Racist chasing has haunted Italian stadiums in recent years, with Italian striker Moise Kean also a victim of similar abuse, along with his teammate Blaise Matuidi - in Cagliari after he scored a goal there for his former Juventus team last April.
Kalidou Koulibaly was showered with monkey chants last season by Lukaku's new fans at the San Siro, while several other black players have been targeted.