U.S. Markets close in 1 hr 4 mins

Luciano Passirani: Italian TV pundit sacked for racist comments against Romelu Lukaku

Jack Rathborn

An Italian TV pundit has been sacked after racist comments made regarding Romelu Lukaku at the weekend.

Lukaku experienced racist abuse from Cagliari fans in Inter Milan’s 2-1 victory earlier this month.

And TopCalcio24’s Luciano Passirani was quickly suspended on Sunday after making shocking comments when discussing how to stop the Belgian striker on the pitch.

”I don’t see any other player in Italy now like Lukaku. [...] I really like him,” Passirani said.

“The only way to stop him is to say, Here are ten bananas that you can eat.”

Director Fabio Ravezzani confirmed the veteran journalist will no longer appear on the show.

Racism has long-since been an issue in Italian football, though it appears to be as prevalent as it has been for several years.

AC Milan’s Franck Kessie appeared to be targeted by racist abuse from Hellas Verona fans last weekend with apparant monkey noises heard from the stands.

Gazzetta dello Sport report Kessie was the subject of racist chants in the first half of Milan’s 1-0 win on Sunday night, with the chants continuing at half-time.

But Verona have vehemently denied the accusations, insisting they were merely whistled aimed at the referee.

A TV pundit has been fired after racist comments made about Lukaku (AFP/Getty)

“The boos to Kessie? The insults to Donnarumma? Perhaps someone’s been dazed by the decibels of the Gialloblu fans,” read a club statement.

“What did we hear? Whistles, inevitably, for the the refereeing decisions that still leave us very perplexed, as well as applause for our ‘gladiators’ at the end of the game.

“We won’t fall for these stereotypes. Respect for Verona and the Veronese people."

Verona were sanctioned for racist abuse in 2014 when aiming monkey chants at Sulley Muntari during Milan's 3-1 win.