'Lukaku monkey chants not racist'

A group of Inter Milan Ultras claim the monkey chants directed at Romelu Lukaku from Cagliari were not 'racist'.
 
Belgium's all-time record goalscorer joined Inter last month in a club-record transfer from Manchester United and was subjected to racial chants this weekend.
 
Away to Cagliari, a team with previous history of racial abuse from a section of their supporters, directed the racist chants at Lukaku as he took a penalty in the 2-1 win.
 
In the past, Samuel Eto'o, Sulley Muntari, Blaise Matuidi and Moise Kean all faced similar incidents at the Sardegna Arena.
 
 
But in an open letter posted on Facebook by the Curva Nord Ultras, they claim the events are misinterpreted as racism.
 
"We are really sorry you thought that what happened in Cagliari was racist," the statement read.
 
"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."
 
After the game, Lukaku stated on his official Instagram that the incident proves that football is 'going backwards'.
 
But the 'Curva Nord' group suggests it was a sign of 'respect' from the supporters.
 
"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," the post said.
 
"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."
 

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