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Soccer Extras: We're going backwards, says Lukaku

September 02, 2019 20:45 IST

Inter Milan forward, Lukaku lamented the lack of action despite years of complaints.

The former Manchester United striker appeared to be the target of monkey chants from the home crowd at the Sardegna Arena -- the same venue where former Juventus forward Moise Kean was also abused -- as he prepared to take the decisive penalty

IMAGE: The former Manchester United striker appeared to be the target of monkey chants from the home crowd at the Sardegna Arena -- the same venue where former Juventus forward Moise Kean was also abused -- as he prepared to take the decisive penalty. Photograph: Daniele Mascolo/Reuters

Belgium and Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku made a plea to football federations and social media platforms on Monday to do more to fight racism after he was subjected to racist abuse in Sunday's 2-1 Serie A victory at Cagliari.

 

The former Manchester United striker appeared to be the target of monkey chants from the home crowd at the Sardegna Arena -- the same venue where former Juventus forward Moise Kean was also abused -- as he prepared to take the decisive penalty.

Several black players have suffered online racist abuse in recent weeks, including United's Paul Pogba and Chelsea's Tammy Abraham and Kurt Zouma.

Lukaku lamented the lack of action despite years of complaints.

"Many players in the last month have suffered from racial abuse. I did yesterday too," Lukaku said on Instagram.

"Football is a game to be enjoyed and we shouldn't accept any form of discrimination that will put our game in shame.

"I hope the football federations all over the world react strongly on 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. We've been saying it for years and still no action.

"Ladies and gentlemen it's 2019 -- instead of going forwards we're going backwards ... As players we need to unify and make a statement on this matter to keep this game clean and enjoyable for everyone."

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard had also called on social media companies to register their users so they could be held accountable for online racist abuse.

Twitter said last month that it would meet with United and the anti-discrimination group Kick It Out to address online racist abuse towards players in Britain.

Last season, a number of Premier League players backed a Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) campaign to boycott social media for 24 hours in a stand against racism.

Rechristened Dynamos shifts base to Bhubaneswar

Rechristened Odisha FC, Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Delhi Dynamos FC has shifted base from the national capital to Bhubaneshwar.

The outfit has played its home games for five seasons at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.

In the last few years, Odisha has emerged as a sports hub, hosting top events in various Olympic disciplines.

Bhubaneswar has successfully hosted the 2018 men's hockey World Cup, the first two editions of the Hero Super Cup and numerous other sporting events.

The Kalinga Stadium, which will be adopted as the club's new home ground, is hosting the All India Football Federation's developmental side, Indian Arrows.

The stadium is the first to be provisionally cleared for the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2020.

Speaking on the decision of moving base, owner of the franchise and founding CEO of GMS Leadership, Anil Sharma said, "It hurts for me to move Delhi Dynamos FC away from the city of Delhi, but certain hard decisions had to be taken.

"I had a vision for the development of football in the country. And my vision has always made me strive for better. I feel the state of Odisha shares the same vision with me.

"As difficult as it was for me to take the call, I am immensely happy to say that the Government of Odisha is equally committed and determined to create an environment of sporting excellence in the state."

The development comes only a few days after ISL side FC Pune City shut their operations due to financial problems and were replaced by new franchise Hyderabad FC.

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