A TV commentator named Luciano Passirani has been sacked for making racially abusive on-air comments about Inter Milan’s striker Romelu Lukaku.
The commentator passed the remarks on air and went on to say “Lukaku is one of the strongest, I like him a lot because he has strength: he is the alter ego of Duvan Zapata at Atalanta,” CNN reported.
“They have something more than the others, there’s nothing else to do. They score the goals and drag your team forward. If you go one-on-one with him, he will kill you. Either you give him 10 bananas to eat, or,” he added on air.
These comments prompted the program director Fabio Ravezzani to sack Passirani saying ” he could no longer participate in our broadcasts despite him being the first to apologize”.
“One of our commentators, in trying to define Lukaku’s strength through a series of compliments, unfortunately, chose a very bad metaphor that turned out to be racist. We cannot tolerate that, even unintentionally, a person who speaks for hours makes racist comments,” Ravezzani said.
It is not the first time that Lukaku has faced racial slurs being hurled at him. Earlier this month, Inter Milan fans were seen singing monkey chants to address the player.
After the incident, the striker released a statement on Instagram, saying, “Many players in the last month have suffered from racial abuse. Football is a game to be enjoyed by everyone and we should not accept any form of discrimination that will put our game in shame”.
“I hope the football federations all over the world react strongly to all cases of discrimination. Social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) need to work better as well with football clubs because every day you see at least a racist comment under a post of a person of colour,” he added.
Manchester United players Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford were also racially abused after they failed to convert penalties into goals.