Serie A Referee-Designator Gianluca Rocchi beleives that the referee Davide Massa’s decision to send off Romelu Lukaku for a second yellow against Juventus yesterday evening was correct despite the circumstances of racist abuse.

This according to Italian news outlet, who report that the 41-year-old Massa has Rocchi’s backing, with the Referee-Designator feeling that it was the correct decision to send off the Nerazzurri striker on the basis that his celebration had incited the crowds.

There were many aspects of the ending to yesterday evening’s Coppa Italia semifinal first leg match to be picked apart, as the entire match descended into a complete brawl between the two sets of players.

Massa has come under fire for his handling of the situation, with the official’s lack of control of the situation blamed for the fact that, after ninety minutes virtually free of controversy, chaos erupted.

Also a matter of no small amount of controversy has been Massa’s decision to send Inter striker Lukaku off for a second yellow.

The Belgian had already been on a yellow card for a challenge on Juventus defender Federico Gatti, and he was then booked a second time for his celebration following a late equalizer.

Massa had felt that the celebration was inciting the crowd considering that the 29-year-old made a “silencing” gesture, and reportedly sent brandished the second yellow for this reason.

However, given that there were Juventus fans making racist chants in the direction of the Nerazzurri striker, it has been questioned whether Rocchi’s response was appropraite.

Inter coach Simone Inzaghi has defended Lukaku’s celebration as being nothing more than the player’s normal goal celebration, whilst the player has also publicly responded to the racist abuse that he was on the end of.

However, according to the Gazzetta, Referee-Designatore Rocchi feels that regardless of the racist abuse, Lukaku crossed a line into inciting the crowd by specifically aiming his celebration at a stand in which Juventus supporters were sitting, and verbally telling the fans “Silence.”

The Gazzetta report that Rocchi feels that a proper reaction from Lukaku would have been to alert the match officials of the racist abuse, in which the officials would have been obliged to stop the match.