Inter reacted with dismay and “great sorrow” on Friday when the Italian football association refused to cancel the red card shown to Romel Lukaku when he spoke out against racist slurs against Juventus.
The Belgian striker converted a penalty five minutes into stoppage time to give Inter a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final on 4 April at the Allianz Stadium.
He then used his finger to calm the vitriol of the home supporters, a reaction that referee Davide Massa ruled was a punitive offence.
Lukaku had already been booked for a foul in the 80th minute, so a second yellow card resulted in him being sent off.
The Inter frontman has called Serie A officials to action after being the victim of abuse, with teammate Edin Dzeko calling the treatment by Juventus fans something “that should never happen”.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino called the violations “unacceptable” and urged those responsible to be punished.
Juventus were initially given a partial stadium closure due to Lukaku being targeted, and the site where the abuse came from was ordered to close for one game, but that decision was reversed this week.
An appeal against Lukaku’s punishment was filed by Inter with the Italian Football League (FIC), but it was rejected on Friday, meaning the Chelsea loan player is due to miss the second leg next Wednesday.
Official statement of the Milan Internazionale https://t.co/LXLyY1ASHW pic.twitter.com/3nDokKMMaq
— Inter (@Inter_en) April 21, 2023
Inter said in a statement: “The FIGC National Court of Appeal today confirmed the suspension of Romelu Lukaku, who will not be able to compete in the Coppa Italia semi-finals on Wednesday.
“FC Internazionale believes it must strengthen its support for the player and expresses deep regret that the victim has become the only party at fault.”