Inter, Lukaku situation, Meunier: "Racist chants? You must leave the pitch..."

05 September at 21:00
Thomas Meunier, a defender for Belgium and teammate of new Inter striker Romelu Lukaku, spoke at a press conference today ahead of his nation’s game against San Marino tomorrow about the recent case of racism that was thrown at Lukaku during the Nerazzurri’s game against Cagliari last week.
The 27-year-old defender was part of the historic Belgium side, alongside Lukaku, who reached the World Cup semi-finals last summer before losing to France, eventually beating England 2-0 to win a third-place medal. The racism that striker Lukaku received during his new team’s visit to Sardinia has ignited an all too familiar discussion in the media about how Italian clubs and the Italian Federation reacts to incidents of racism in the stadium, with many calling the measures to prevent it lacklustre and outdated now that technology is in place to effectively identify those responsible for the racism.
Here are Meunier’s words at the press conference: "We must not argue, we must repress and strike hard. In Cagliari, Blaise Matuidi also suffered the same fate last season and the Italian Federation did not intervene, which says a lot: the clubs manage the fans, so they must take responsibility and exclude these energetic people from the stadiums for life. If Romelu says enough and decides to leave the pitch, I'm sure the other players will follow him. Because everyone has heard those monkey chants. It would have been a strong gesture, as happened in France last year: a player who was victim of racist cries left the field and the game was cancelled. This helped to raise awareness and create the right campaigns. It is necessary not to leave the field to racists. At PSG, we also have players of colour and of all origins: I'm sure that if a player victim of similar things gives the signal, the entire team would follow him and leave the field".
He added on the statement released by a group of Inter ultras: “That statement is very bad news, now you have the feeling that the insult is so trivialised that everyone lets it slide. Saying good morning or insulting has become the same thing. But racism must be fought, without discussion, and that's it.”
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Apollo Heyes


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