Italian football commentator Luciano Passirani has been told he won’t be appearing on TopCalcio24 again after a racist remark made about Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgium international joined Inter from Manchester United in the summer and has also had to endure racist monkey chants from some crowds in Serie A, whose problems with racism seem to be getting worse rather than better.
Comments such as the one made by Passirani won’t be helping either, with the pundit attempting a joke about Lukaku by saying the only way to stop him is by throwing bananas at him.
“I don’t see in the Italian league a player like Lukaku in any team, not in AC Milan, Inter, Rome, Lazio,” he said.
“He’s one of the strongest and I like him a lot because he’s one of the strongest, he’s at least twice as strong as (Duvan) Zapata from Atalanta.
“These players have something more than the others, these are the guys who make the goals and drag the team.
“If they go one-on-one with you you’re dead, you fall to the ground. The only way to out-muscle him is to give him ten bananas to eat.”
He quickly apologised and attempted to make out that his joke wasn’t meant to be racist, though the Daily Mirror report that TV channel director Fabio Ravezzani later appeared on the show to explain that Passirani had been axed as a result of his comments.
Racism has reared its ugly head in English football as well in recent times, with numerous reports already this season as Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Tammy Abraham have spoken out about receiving racist abuse after missing penalties for their clubs.