Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku was racially abused by Cagliari fans during a recent Serie A tie and the striker became the latest player in Italy to be a victim of racism.
Earlier this month, AFC Bournemouth star Joshua King stressed he wouldn’t rule out a move to Italy just because of ‘some stupid people’.
The Norway international’s views are not in line with Chelsea defender Emerson Palmieri, who stressed that he has turned down chances to switch to Serie A due to racism issues in the country.
Italy registered a 3-1 victory over Armenia in the European qualifiers on Thursday and after the match, the Blues defender made comments to Corriere dello Sport in the mixed zone.
“It’s for things like those that happened to Lukaku that I decided not to play in Serie A when I could,” he explains.
“I would like the black players to leave that league: it will certainly not stop their stupidity and hatred, but at least they will not weigh on the others.”
Emerson’s comments may come as a surprise especially when the Brazil-born fullback represents Italy on the international stage.
While talking about his personal experience, the 25-year-old said: “I see opposition fans who want to hurt a black player and then they insult him. As far as I am concerned, no one in Italy has ever made me feel like a foreigner, since the first day you all made me feel good.”
Last season Chelsea banned a fan who racially abused Raheem Sterling during Manchester City’s clash against the Blues at Stamford Bride. Emerson is happy with the action taken by the Europa League winners.
“England is ahead in this matter. Just see what happened to the Chelsea fan who insulted Sterling: he was banned forever. It is the right step to take. We must understand that there is no room for these people in Italy,” Emerson added.