Inter disappointed as Lukaku ban upheld despite racist abuse

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

Lukaku, was sent off in the first leg of the semi-final, will remain suspended for the return against Juventus on Wednesday after the club's appeal was rejected by Italy's Sports Court Of Appeal.

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

The Belgian striker was subjected to racial abuse during the first leg at Juventus “before, during, and after the penalty” he had scored to earn Inter a 1-1 draw, the player's representatives said.

Lukaku was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for his goal celebration during which he held his finger up to his mouth in front of Juve fans, a gesture which was judged to be provocative.

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

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