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Roc Nation reacts to Lukaku red in Coppa Italia clash

Inter Milan striker sent off after clash with fans

Roc Nation, the agency in charge of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, have put out a statement calling out the Italian FA after their client saw red in the Coppa Italia semifinal against Juventus. The agency requested that Juventus tender an apology to Lukaku, and the league take a stronger stance against racism.

With Juventus leading 1-0 in the Coppa Italia semifinal first leg clash from an 83rd minute Juan Cuadrado strike, Inter Milan were awarded a penalty when Gleison Bremer handled the ball inside his box. Lukaku stepped up and did what he does best, tucking the ball into the back of the net in the 95th minute to earn his side an away draw. The striker faced the Juventus fans with his celebrations, also muttering some inaudible words. This drew the ire of the referee, who wasted no time in producing a yellow card for the big Belgian who had previously been booked, sending him off.

In its statement, Roc Nation Sports revealed that Lukaku had been subjected to derogatory abuse by the Juventus fans behind the goal before, during and after his penalty kick. This behaviour is consistent with Italian football fans, with Napoli duo of Kalidou Koulibaly and Victor Osimhen receiving racist abuse last season and Mario Balotelli once attempting to walk off the pitch following racist abuse.

The agency, through its president Michael Yormark, urged the club and Italian football to use this as an opportunity to lay down a strong punishment for racism, rather than punishing the player who was a victim.

“Tonight’s racist remarks made towards  Romelu Lukaku by Juventus  fans in Turin were beyond despicable and cannot be accepted. Romelu Scored a penalty late in the game. Before, during, and after the penalty , he was subjected to hostile and disgusting racist abuse . Romelu celebrated In the same manner he has previously celebrated goals . The referee’s response was to award a yellow card to Romelu.

“Romelu deserves an apology from Juventus, and I expect the league to condemn the behaviour of this group of Juventus supporters immediately .The Italian authorities must use this opportunity to tackle racism , rather than punish the victim of the abuse. I am certain that the footballing world shares the same sentiment, ” Yormark said.

It remains to be seen what the reaction of the Italian FA is to the statement by. Roc Nation.

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