I cannot fathom how the Inter Milan’s Curva Nord ultras can have the opinion that Cagliari fans were not being racist when they subjected their own player Romelu Lukaku to vile abuse during Sunday’s game.
The former Manchester United striker scored the winning penalty in the clash at Cagliari as his new side emerged 2-1 winners.
While waiting to take the spot kick, Cagliari supporters behind the goal could clearly be heard making monkey noises at him.
After converting the penalty, Lukaku simply stared at those who had been making the noises, as his team-mates rushed to congratulate him.
There has been significant controversy over the incident, with a judge suggesting on Tuesday that there needed to be more evidence before Cagliari could be punished for the actions of their fans.
And now Lukaku’s OWN supporters have suggested Lukaku should view the chants as a form of ‘respect’.
The incredible statement said: ‘We are writing you on behalf of the Curva Nord, 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 multi-ethnic 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.
‘When you declare that racism is a problem to be fought in Italy you just help the repression against all football fans including us and you contribute to create a problem that is not really there, not in the way that is perceived in other countries.
‘We are very sensitive and inclusive with all people. We guarantee you that in our organization there are many fans of different races or fans coming from other parts of Italy that also use this ways to provoke their opponents even when the have the same races or are coming from the same areas.
‘Please help us to clarify what racism really is and that Italian fans are not racist.
‘The fight to REAL racism has to begin in schools not in the stadiums, fans are just fans and they behave in different ways when inside the stadium as opposed to when they are in real life.
‘I guarantee you that what they do or say to an opponent player of another race is not what they would ever say to someone they would meet in real life.
‘Italian fans may not be perfect and we can understand your frustration with this expressions but they are definitely not meant to be racist.’