An Italian TV pundit has been relieved of his duties after making a racist remark towards Inter striker Romelu Lukaku on air.

By 90Min
September 16, 2019

An Italian TV pundit has been relieved of his duties after making a racist remark towards Inter striker Romelu Lukaku on air, suggesting that 'throwing bananas' at the Belgian is the only way to stop him. 

The former Manchester United man has started well since moving to Serie A last month, scoring twice in his first three matches, and impressed again as his side made it three wins from three at the expense of Udinese on Saturday. 

Unfortunately his impressive start to life in Italy has been underpinned by some abhorrent abuse, as he found himself subject to alleged racist chanting from Cagliari supporters before the international break - something that was defended by Inter ultras, who said that what may have been 'perceived' as racism was simply a 'mark of respect.' 

That argument has come universally under fire, with a widespread show of support towards Lukaku coming to light from across the world of football. Racial abuse remains a serious issue, particularly in Italy, however, and Italian TV pundit Luciano Passirani has been removed from TV following his insensitive comments towards the 27-year-old after the Udinese clash. 

Speaking on TopCalcio24, Passirani said: "If you go one-on-one with him he will murder you. The only way to come up against him is maybe give him 10 bananas to eat..."

Program director Fabio Ravenazzi did attempt to explain the comments, but takes a no-tolerance stance towards them regardless of their 'complimentary' intent

"Mr Passirani is 80 years old and to compliment Lukaku he used a metaphor that turned out to be racist," he said, as quoted by the BBC. "I think it was a terrible lack of momentary lucidity.

"I cannot tolerate any kind of errors, even if momentary."

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