“I think we need to take things into our own hands”-tells Romelu Lukaku on racism


Romelu Lukaku discusses racism in football, leaving the Premier League and life in Italy as he sits down with Sky Sports News reporter Paul Gilmour. Lukaku has called on footballers to take more responsibility on the pitch when it comes to racism.


The Belgium international reveals the impact Antonio Conte has had on his career since he arrived at Inter and how the Italian became the first manager to give him the hairdryer treatment after a “trash” performance.lukaku-on-racism

Lukaku also talks about what life at United could have been like under Jose Mourinho if all the manager’s demands had been met. While Lukaku has embraced his new experience in Italy, there are some areas where Serie A really has to step up and improve, above all clamping down on racism.

I think last year was a sad year for the world in general, lots of unnecessary incidents happened, especially in football where I’m really watching this happening.

This year we have to do better and we need to take action. We need to educate people. Education is key – I’m lucky that I have been to school and I’ve been in a school where we had over 50 different nationalities.

In football, what happened to me, to Mario [Balotelli], or to [Miralem] Pjanic – for me Italy is a beautiful country to live in. But Italy has such a potential to be a great league like it used to, but we have to work together to keep those ignorant people out of the stadium. It happened in Holland as well, when I watched a game in the second division.

I spoke to the guy that it happened to where they stopped the games for one minute, I spoke to the guy and said, ‘You did well to walk off the pitch and to celebrate in front of those ignorant people’. I think we need to take things into our own hands.

“I don’t think we should leave it to the federations. Holland did a great job, they did a fantastic job with all of their players. Sometimes in other countries we, as players, have to take matters into our own hands.”

lukaku-on-italy-racismThe 26-year-old, who has made an impressive start to life at Inter, scoring 18 goals to help the club mount a serious Serie A title challenge, revealed that Conte’s telling off inspired him to do better.

He added:

We played the Milan derby just after that and I played one of my best games of the season. It’s little things like that.

‘He knows how to get the best out of his players. You work hard, you train hard and you play. If you don’t do what he says, you don’t play. You know where you stand – and that’s what I respect about him.’

Lukaku ran up against the worst aspects of Italian fan culture when the Inter Curva Nord group of ultras wrote him an open letter insisting he should not feel insulted by racist abuse from Cagliari fans, but rather flattered that they feared him so much.