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16 Sep, 2019 15:12

‘You have to give him 10 bananas’: Italian TV pundit fired for racist Lukaku comments

‘You have to give him 10 bananas’: Italian TV pundit fired for racist Lukaku comments

An Italian football pundit has been fired after saying on air that the only way to stop Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku was by “giving him 10 bananas to eat.”

Luciano Passirani was appearing as a guest on the Qui Studio a Voi Stadio show when he made the comments about the 26-year-old Belgian forward.

Attempting to praise Lukaku for his impact at Inter since joining from Manchester United in the summer, Passirani, said: "[He] is one of the best signings Inter could have made. I don't see in the Italian league a player like Lukaku in any team, not in AC Milan, Inter, Rome, Lazio.

"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.”

The 80-year-old pundit then added: "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 10 bananas to eat."

The pundit apologized soon after making the remark, claiming that he had intended to make a joke but had used inappropriate words.

Telelombardia director Fabio Ravezzani appeared on air shortly afterwards to apologize for the comments, also confirming that Passirani would never be invited on the network again.

The comments come after Lukaku was subjected to monkey chants by Cagliari fans during the teams’ Serie A clash earlier this season.

‘You have to give him 10 bananas’: Italian TV pundit fired for racist Lukaku comments

After that incident, the Belgian forward took to social media to warn that the situation was “going backwards” regarding racism in the game.

Bizarrely, a section of Inter Milan’s ultras then attempted to clarify that the Cagliari fans had shown “respect” to Lukaku by making the chants.      

Also on rt.com 'Consider it a form of respect': Inter Milan ultras tell Lukaku monkey chants are 'not racism'