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Football: Police ban on Juventus fans for Lukaku abuse

Last updated on: April 24, 2023 23:32 IST
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IMAGE: Lukaku will play in the return leg on Wednesday after his one-match ban was overturned by the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) as a measure to fight racism. Photograph: Daniele Mascolo/Reuters

The Italian authorities will impose stadium bans on 171 Juventus fans found to have chanted racist abuse at Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku during a Coppa Italia semi-final earlier this month, police said on Monday.

Lukaku was subjected to abuse during the first leg at Juventus "before, during, and after the penalty" he scored to earn Inter a 1-1 draw, the player's representatives said.


The police did not specify the length of the bans that the fans would face for the offence. They were identified using video footage from the stadium.

Inter fans also taunted their Juventus rivals during the game with chants referring to the 1985 Heysel stadium disaster, police added.

The police findings will be passed on to the soccer authorities for possible further action.

Lukaku will play in the return leg on Wednesday after his one-match ban was overturned by the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) as a measure to fight racism.

Lukaku was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for his goal celebration during which he held his finger up to his mouth to silence Juventus fans.

Ukraine confirms it will play on in Euro 2024 qualifiers

Ukraine will continue playing Euro 2024 qualifying matches despite a government ban on Ukrainian national teams taking part in competitions involving athletes from Russia and Belarus, the country said on Monday.

Kyiv imposed the ban, which covers Olympic, non-Olympic and Paralympic events, over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and the use of neighbouring Belarus as a staging post for the invasion.

Andriy Pavelko, head of the Ukrainian Football Association, published a letter on Facebook in which the sports ministry outlined a decision to let Ukraine play on in the Euro 2024 qualifiers even though Belarus is also taking part.

"The national team of Ukraine will continue official performances in qualifying for the 2024 European Championship," he wrote on Facebook.

Ukraine's qualifying Group C includes England, Italy, North Macedonia and Malta. Belarus is in Group I with Israel, Andorra, Kosovo, Romania and Switzerland.

They lost their opening game 2-0 away to England, who lead the group with six points after two matches. Ukraine's second game is away to North Macedonia on June 16.

After the invasion of Ukraine last year, which Moscow calls a special military operation, Russia was barred from competing in European tournaments by governing body UEFA.

FIFA receives four bids to host 2027 women's World Cup

FIFA received four bids to host the 2027 women's World Cup, soccer's governing body said on Monday, with the hosts set to be appointed at its Congress in May next year.

Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have submitted a joint expression of interest to host the tournament while the other joint bid includes the United States and Mexico.

Brazil and South Africa were the other two countries to submit a bid. FIFA said it would send the Bidding Agreement to all interested countries, who will have until May 19 to confirm their involvement.

"We are thrilled by the expressions of interest received, not least because they come from member associations with a strong football tradition representing four confederations..." FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said.

"All member associations can rely on the most robust and comprehensive bidding process in the history of the FIFA Women's World Cup."

The hosts will be appointed by the FIFA Congress via public voting on May 17, 2024.

Australia and New Zealand are co-host the 2023 edition of the tournament which kicks off on July 20. The US, Mexico and Canada will co-host the men's World Cup in 2026.

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