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Juventus stadium ban for racist chants at Lukaku suspended



 Romelu Lukaku

A partial stadium ban imposed on Juventus for racist chants directed toward Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku has been suspended.

The Italian football federation made the decision Friday following an appeal of the penalty issued by the Serie A judge — meaning that Juventus will be permitted to have a full stadium for its next home game in the league against runaway leader Napoli on April 23.

The ban had stemmed from incidents during the first leg of the Italian Cup semifinals last week, when Lukaku, who is Black, was subjected to discriminatory chants.

Lukaku was sanctioned with a second yellow card for provoking Juventus fans by holding his finger to his lips as if to silence the crowd after converting a stoppage-time penalty to earn Inter a 1-1 draw. Lukaku was therefore suspended for the second leg of the semifinals on April 26.

Lukaku’s gesture enraged the opposing team and the game ended in a scuffle between the two squads, with Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado and Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic also sent off.

Cuadrado was banned for three matches while Handanovic was banned for one game. Each player was fined 10,000 euros ($11,000).

The federation decided to suspend the partial stadium ban after taking into consideration how Juventus coordinated with authorities to identify the fans responsible for the racist behavior. One fan, a minor, was banned from Juventus games for 10 years, and an adult fan was banned for life.

Lukaku has been subjected to racist chants on numerous occasions during his two stints at Inter.

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