Lukaku ban remains in place despite racist abuse from fans

Inter Milan expressed their disappointment after striker Romelu Lukaku was handed a one-match ban on Friday, saying the player was punished despite being racially abused in the Coppa Italia semi-final against Juventus.

Lukaku, who was sent off in the first leg of the semi-final against Juventus on Wednesday, will be suspended after Italy’s Sports Court of Appeal rejected the club’s appeal.

“FC Internazionale Milano feels that it must consolidate its support for the player and deeply regrets the fact that the victim has become the only guilty party,” Inter said in a statement.

The Belgian striker was racially abused “before, during and after” the penalty he scored in Inter’s 1-1 draw during the first leg at Juventus, the player’s representatives said.

Lukaku was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for celebrating his goal when he held his finger to his face in front of Juve fans, a gesture that was deemed provocative.

Juventus were ordered to close the Tribuna Sud section of their stadium after racist chants were heard from that area, a ban that was later overturned following an appeal by the club.

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