Romelu Lukaku vs Chris Smalling clash labelled 'Black Friday' in racism storm

By Mirror: Thursday, December 5th 2019 at 12:21 GMT +3 | Football
Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport [Courtesy]

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport has been slammed for labelling the clash between Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling on Friday night ' Black Friday '.

In the latest racism storm to engulf Italian football, the paper has come under fire for the front-page headline ahead of Inter Milan vs Roma at the San Siro.

The page emerged on social media late on Wednesday night and fans were quick to criticise the headline given Lukaku and Smalling were used as the figureheads for the preview.

Italian journalist Matteo Bonetti wrote: "Tone deaf, ignorant & with the usual racial undertones. Saying I’m shocked would be a lie at this point.

"Absolute embarrassment from @CorSport to come up with this title for Friday’s clash between Inter and Roma."

AS Roma's English account - who have been vocal in their opposition to racism in Italian football - also tweeted the cover on Thursday morning to show their discontent.

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The incident follows Lukaku being met by monkey chants as he stepped up to take a penalty for Inter at Cagliari earlier this season.

Former Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli was also targeted by racists during a match at Hellas Verona.

Balotelli was so furious he picked up the ball and kicked it towards the fans that were abusing him, before threatening to leave the pitch.

Lukaku and Smalling are each enjoying successful campaigns in Serie A having each left Manchester United over the summer - Smalling on a season-long loan.

Belgian hitman Lukaku has already plundered 10 league goals while Smalling's impressive displays at the heart of Roma's defence have led to the Italian giants wanting to extend his deal at the club.

Inter hold a one-point advantage at the top of Serie A over Juventus going into Friday's match, while Roma sit fifth, nine points behind the leaders.

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