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Monkey chants at Lukaku ‘not racist’ says Caligari fans

PICTURED: Romelu Lukaku

A GROUP of Caligari fans have stated monkey chants aimed at Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku were not racist and were a form of ‘respect’.

The bizarre statement from Inter fan group Curva Nord said “Italian fans are not racist and the abuse was gamesmanship”.

Lukaku, who moved from Manchester United to Inter in the summer, was subjected to racist abuse after scoring the winning goal in a 2-1 victory.

As racist abuse was hurled at him, Lukaku stood and stared at fans behind the goal, where the chants had originated from.

Following the match, Lukaku said the game is “going backwards” in the wake of the racist abuse and fellow teammate Milan Skriniar condemned the fans actions in a post-match interview.

However, this didn’t stop the fans from defending their actions, as the open letter was published to their Facebook page, which also said: “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.

"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."

In a statement, Cagliari said it intends to "identify, isolate and ban those ignorant individuals whose shameful actions and behaviours are completely against those values that Cagliari Calcio strongly promotes in all their initiatives".

This is the latest in a string of racist incidents aimed at black players.

Last season, Everton’s Moise Kean faced similar abuse when playing against Cagliari, and in 2017 Pescara midfielder Sulley Muntari walked off the pitch after being racially abused by Cagliari fans.

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