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one-match stadium closure for Juventus after Lukaku’s racial abuse

Juventus have been handed a one-match partial stadium closure after fans racially abused Romelu Lukaku in Inter’s 1-1 Coppa Italia draw with Juve on Tuesday.

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Inter Milan striker was subjected to racist chanting before being shown a red card forcing Serie A to rule that the lower tier of Allianz Stadium’s South Stand will be closed for Juventus.

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The old ladies host Napoli on 23 April in a league game, and the South Stand section will miss fans following racist chanting from “the majority of fans” who sat in that section before and during Lukaku’s stoppage-time penalty.

The 29-year-old was shown a second yellow card for putting his finger to his lips in front of the home fans after his late equaliser in the semi-final first leg.

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Lukaku will serve a one-match ban for his red card. However, Juventus midfielder Juan Cuadrado and Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic have also been handed bans after a row broke out after the final whistle.

Scuffles broke out between players from both sides after Lukaku’s equalizer as Cuadrado, Juve’s goal scorer, has been given a three-match suspension for grabbing Handanovic by the neck and punching him, while the Inter captain has been banned for one match for his role in the fight.

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Earlier Lukaku uttered that Serie A must take “action for real this time” after he was racially abused by Juventus fans before being sent off on Tuesday.

“History repeats itself,” the Inter Milan striker wrote on Instagram. “Been through it in 2019 and 2023 again.” This beautiful game should be enjoyed by everyone.” He added: “I hope the league really take action for real this time.”

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Michael Yormark, president of Lukaku’s representatives Roc Nation Sports International on the matter:

Juventu’s statement read:

“Juventus Football Club, as always, is collaborating with the police to identify those responsible for the racist gestures and chants which took place last night.”

Lukaku suffered racist abuse during his first spell at Inter between 2019 and 2021.

In September 2019 he said the game “was going backwards” after he was racially abused by Cagliari fans. However, Cagliari was later cleared of racist chanting, with Piara Powar – chief of anti-discriminatory body Fare – claiming the disciplinary systems to combat racism in Italian football were “not fit for purpose”.

In September 2021, Lukaku said racism in football was at an “all-time high” and that players, football authorities and social media could do more to tackle the issue.

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In January, Serie A opened an investigation into allegations of racist abuse aimed towards Lukaku by Napoli fans.

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