A group of Inter fans have come to the defense of Cagliari supporters who racially abused striker Romelu Lukaku.
Lukaku called for action Monday after he was the target of monkey chants during Sunday’s encounter, and Inter ultras from San Siro’s Curva Nord responded Tuesday with a letter on Facebook that defended such forms of abuse from fans in Italy.
The post was addressed to Lukaku and read:
We are writing you on behalf of North Bend, yes the guys who welcomed you at your arrival in Milan.
We are really sorry you thought that what happened in Cagliari was racist.
You have to understand that Italy is not like many other north European countries where racism is a REAL problem.
We understand that it could have seemed racist to you but it is not like that. In Italy we use some “ways” only to “help our teams” and to try to make our opponents nervous, not for racism but to mess them up.
We are a multiethnic fans organization and we have always welcomed players from everywhere. However, we have always used that “way” with other teams’ players in the past and we probably will in the future. We are not racist and so are not the Cagliari fans.
You have to understand that in all Italian stadiums people cheer for their teams but at the same time they use to cheer against the opponents not for racism but to “help” their own team.
Please consider this attitude of Italian fans as a form of respect for the fact they are afraid of you for the goals you might score against their teams and not because they hate you or they are racist.
True racism is a completely different story and all Italian football fans know it very well.
The racist chants were made as Lukaku stepped up to take a penalty in the 72nd minute. He scored what would be the winning goal for Inter.
Lukaku now has two goals in two matches since joining Inter from Manchester United at the beginning of August.