Luciano Passirani has been relieved of his appointment following a racist remark on Romelu Lukaku. The Inter Milan star, who moved to the club this summer from Manchester United, has been subject to several racist attacks.
The theme of the show on the day was the impact of Lukaku since moving to the Serie A. While praising the Belgian, Passirani said the sheer strength of the player makes him special in the league. He compared Lukaku to Duvan Zapata of Atalanta, in that they can hold up play and bully defenders.
Passirani said it’s only if Lukaku is given bananas to eat that he can be stopped by opponents. While some see it as exaggerated and misplaced compliment, he has been condemned for the racist link despite his apology.
The show’s director Fabio Ravezzani said the apology of the 80-year old experienced pundit was not enough to retain his services. He condemned outrightly the racist metaphor Passirani employed in passing across his message. He said even if it can be seen as momentary, it would not be tolerated.
With Lukaku being subject to racist chants by Cagliari fans of recent, and a section of Inter Milan fans writing an open letter in support of the Cagliari fans, the comment left a very bad taste. Italy remains a hot spot where racism is not punished severely, like many other north European nations.