Inter’s appeal for the suspension of striker Romelu Lukaku for next week’s Coppa Italia semifinal second leg against Juventus to be lifted has been denied.
The FIGC (Italian FA) released an official statement confirming that the decision has been made to reject the Nerazzurri’s appeal to have the one-match suspension of the 29-year-old Belgian lifted on the grounds of mitigating circumstances given the scandalous racism that the player had been experiencing.
Lukaku received a one-match ban due to having been sent off after receiving two yellow cards during the Coppa Italia semifinal first leg against Juventus.
The suspension is set to see the Belgian miss out on the second leg of that tie.
However, the Nerazzurri made the decision to appeal the suspension to Lukaku.
Whilst it is typically not expected that there is any chance of an appeal of a suspension for two yellow cards to succeed compared to one for a straight red, the Nerazzurri had hoped that the mitigating circumstances surrounding the striker’s suspension would change things.
Whilst the first yellow card received by the 29-year-old was hardly in doubt, the second booking came after his celebration of a late penalty goal was deemed by referee Davide Massa to be inciting the crowd.
Given that the celebration that the Belgian performed was not unusual for him, and particularly considering the fact that it came in the midst of racist chants being aimed at the player by a “majority” of Juventus supporters in the Tribuna Sud stand that he was facing according to an official report, Inter had hoped that these circumstances would mean that their appeal would be successful.
The Nerazzurri’s aim was to send an important message about opposing racism within Italian football by reversing the punishment that was faced by a player who was on the end of scandalous racist treatment by fans.
However, there has been no such luck for Inter or Lukaku, as the FIGC board of appeals has heard their appeal but made the decision to reject it.