Juventus have successfully appealed to have the Tribuna Sud stand of the Allianz Stadium reopened despite an initial ban that had been handed out in response to the racist abuse Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku received from Juve fans in that stand in the first leg of the semifinal of the Coppa Italia.
This according to Italian news outlet Gazzetta.it, who report that the Bianconeri have successfully appealed to overturn the initial verdict of partial stadium closure for the upcoming Serie A match against Napoli.
Italian FA sporting judge Gerardo Mastrandrea had initially made the decision to close the Tribuna Sud section of the Allianz Stadium for the Napoli match after reviewing the evidence that emerged following the Coppa Italia semifinal first leg match between Juventus and Inter which ended in a 1-1 draw.
During the closing stages of the match, there were scandalous scenes as Nerazzurri striker Romelu Lukaku was the subject of audible racist chants from some fans in the Tribuna Sud section.
The Inter striker, who is currently on loan at the Nerazzurri from Chelsea, was controversially sent off for a celebration that was deemed to be inciting the crowd, after he suffered racist chants aimed at him.
An investigation by the FIGC (Italian FA) found that a “majority” of fans in the “Tribuna Sud” section of the Allianz had been heard making the chants.
The incident was looked at by sporting judge Mastrandrea to hand out appropriate punishments and sanctions in the aftermath.
Mastrandrea’s initial verdict was to hand out a one-match closure of the Tribuna Sud stand, namely for the Serie A clash with Napoli on the evening of Sunday April 23, on the basis that it was where the racist chants came from.
However, the Bianconeri submitted an appeal upon reviewing all available evidence, arguing that they have done their part to identify all those fans responsible for the racist chants.
According to the Gazzetta, Mastrandera has accepted the argument made by Juventus in their appeal, and has decided to reopen the Tribuna Sud section to both season ticket-holders and other match-going fans for the Partenopei clash