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Romelu Lukaku demands action on racism in Italy

Romelu Lukaku celebrates Internazionale’s victory over Lecce at the San Siro. Alessandro Sabattini-Getty Images

Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku wants Italian football authorities to crack down on racism by following the example of English football and using cameras to identify abusive fans.

The former Manchester United forward has already called on UEFA to act against racism after claiming he was abused during a Champions League game at Slavia Prague in November.

Lukaku was targeted by monkey chants during a Serie A match at Cagliari in September, while Brescia striker Mario Balotelli was subjected to racist abuse during a game at Verona in November.

Speaking at the Global Soccer Gala in Dubai, the Belgian forward, said: “I come from England where there is severity, where there are cameras in the stadiums, and the fans help to identify those responsible.

“In Italy, we should do the same. As footballers, we have the power to try and change things.

“The team, the players, must take sides. What happened to me was sad.

“In the changing rooms, there are players of different ethnicities and religions but we all work together.

“Why can’t we just enjoy the game at the stadium, instead of dwelling on the colour of the skin or its race?”

In November, all 20 Serie A clubs signed an open letter addressed to “all those who love Italian football”, acknowledging there is a serious problem with respect to racism in the Italian game.

In the letter, the clubs said that Serie A would deliver “a comprehensive and robust Serie A anti-racism policy, stricter new laws and regulations, and a plan for educating those within the game about the scourge of racism”.

Italian football’s disciplinary code has been widely criticised as it only allows sanctions if the racist abuse is considered widely perceptible.

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