ROME: Romelu Lukaku has made an eloquent plea for players, clubs and federations as well as social media platforms to unite and take a stand against the scourge of racist abuse in the game.
Inter Milan’s new recruit from Manchester United was responding after being the target of monkey chants on Sunday.
The abuse lasted for several seconds as the 26-year-old was preparing to take the winning penalty in Inter’s 2-1 Serie A triumph at Cagliari in Sardinia.
“Many players in the last month have suffered from racial abuse, I did yesterday,” the Belgian international wrote on Instagram on Monday.
“Football is a game to be enjoyed by everyone and we shouldn’t accept any form of discrimination that will put our game in shame.”
He called on football federations around the world to “react strongly” and suggested social media platforms need to do more with football clubs “because everyday you see at least a racist comment under a post of a person of colour”.
“We’ve been saying it for years and still no action.
“Ladies and gentlemen it’s 2019, instead of going forward we’re going backwards and I think as players we need to unify and make a statement on this matter to keep this game clean and enjoyable for everyone.”
Racist chanting has dogged Italian stadia in recent years, with Italy striker Moise Kean also the victim of similar abuse — alongside teammate Blaise Matuidi — at Cagliari after he scored a goal there for his former team Juventus 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.
Lukaku’s former Manchester United teammates Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford were subjected to online abuse last month.
Cagliari issued a statement condemning the abuse.
“The club underlines again its intention to identify, isolate and exclude these ignorant individuals whose shameful behaviour is totally opposite” the club’s values.