Inter Fans Need To Back Players And Stop Being Ignorant

Not for the first time in recent years a black footballer heard monkey chants being directed at them during a Serie A fixture.

Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku smashed home a penalty and that was met with disgusting chants from Cagliari supporters.

After the game, in which Inter won, Lukaku made it clear on Twitter that he was being racially abused:

A group of Inter fans, Curva Nord, stated that the monkey chants from opposing fans directed towards one of their own players wasn’t actually racist at all:

“We are sorry you thought 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.”

 “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.”

Source – BBC Sport

So the Inter faithful believe it’s just opposition fans winding up footballers. Now I get that that does happen, if a player is about to step up to take a penalty kick then they’ll get whistled and jeered at as the opposition support try and put them off. But as soon as you direct monkey chants towards black players, you’re crossing the line and it’s extremely racist and very offensive.

Internazionale fans need to realise that they can’t define what’s racist and what isn’t. They don’t have that right, nor should they believe they’ve got that right. It’s deeply ignorant to suggest that they know more about racism than a black footballer and kind of emphasises the views that Italy does indeed have issues with tolerance and possesses a racist culture.

Before the Serie A campaign started the league came out and stated that illegal piracy kills football. When videos of the monkey chanting started to pop up on social media, the Italian football authorities were quick to get those posts taken down.

I suggest to those same authorities that they try and stamp out the racist culture that’s in their stadia as vigorously as they’re trying to stamp out the piracy that exists online.

Going to the point that the fans believe it’s not in fact racist. Plenty of players will argue differently including Moise Kean, Blaise Matuidi and Kalidou Koulibaly who have all experienced the disgusting chants in recent seasons on Italian soil.

But in Italy there seems to be too many wanting to sweep it under the carpet.

Kean didn’t receive the backing of his teammate Leonardo Bonucci or his manager at Juventus when he reacted to the abuse he received at Cagliari last season. They quickly backtracked after an uproar from the football media and the wider football community.

In 2017, Sulley Muntari left the field of play as Cagliari fans racially abused him. He complained to the referee, who in turn booked the midfielder. He then received a suspension from the Italian FA, which was eventually rescinded after a public outcry.

The footballing authorities in Italy need to start doing more to combat this abuse.

Interestingly Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte doesn’t seem to hold the same belief as the Curve Nord that Italy doesn’t have racists issues.

Conte said this:

‘Really, I didn’t hear anything from the bench,’

‘However, it is true that in general more education is needed in Italy. I have also heard Ancelotti complain about the constant insults received on certain pitches.

‘When you are abroad there is more respect, the fans think only of supporting their team.’

Via The Metro

That gets to the real crux of the matter. Inter Milan fans should back their team and support their players. To patronise your main striker and to ignorantly dismiss his views shows a total lack of understanding.

They are willing to ignore abuse directed at their own players because they wish to abuse others, that’s the only way I can start to reason their extremely poor statement and that’s so very sad for any player of colour that plays in Italy today.

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