Inter have released a statement officially condemning the suspension to striker Romelu Lukaku for their Coppa Italia semifinal second leg clash with Juventus next week.
The club released the short statement on their official site, stressing the fact that, despite being the main victim in a scandalous incident of fan racism inside the stadium, the 29-year-old Belgian international is the only one to have received any punishment.
Lukaku will not be a part of Inter’s squad for next Wednesday’s Coppa Italia semifinal second leg against Juventus.
The reason for this is that the striker received a suspension due to picking up two yellow cards during the first leg earlier this month, the second of which was controversially handed out after he celebrated in front of a stand of Bianconeri supporters who were audibly racially abusing him.
The Nerazzurri made the decision to appeal the decision given the mitigating circumstances, partly to make a point in opposition to racism in football.
However, the club’s appeal has not been successful, and the FIGC (Italian FA) confirmed that Lukaku will not be available for Wednesday’s match.
As the club make clear, this means that when all is said and done, the Belgian is the only person who has been the subject of any real consequences in the aftermath of the incident.
Whilst the Tribuna Sud stand of the Allianz Stadium had initially been handed a closure by the authorities as a consequence of the racism scandal, it was reopened after appeal, as Juventus had their appeal to play this weekend’s Serie A match against Napoli in a full stadium accepted.
Inter reacted to the FIGC’s decision with the following statement:
“The FIGC’s National Court of Appeal today confirmed the suspension of Romelu Lukaku, who will be unable to participate in Wednesday’s Coppa Italia semi-final.”
“FC Internazionale Milano feels it must consolidate its support for the player and expresses great sorrow at the fact that the victim has become the only guilty party.”