(CNN)Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku was the subject of monkey chants from Cagliari fans Sunday, the latest in a string of racist incidents that have marred the Italian club in recent years.
Lukaku, who was playing his second game for Inter having signed from Manchester United last month, received the abuse before and after scoring a second-half penalty to give his team a 2-1 win over the Sardinian side.
He refused to celebrate, instead staring into the stands in the direction of the chants.
Inter boss Antonio Conte insists he did not hear the noises from his touchline position, but said in a news conference after the game that “in Italy we must improve a lot and be more educated and respectful towards those doing their job.”
“In other countries you support the team; you don’t insult the opposition like this,” Conte added. “There must be the maximum respect. Today I was treated well and wasn’t insulted, other times it hasn’t happened like that and it’s not nice.”
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CNN has reached out to Serie A, Cagliari and the Italian FA for comment but is yet to receive a response.
Earlier this year, Everton forward Moise Kean was racially abused by Cagliari fans while playing for Juventus.
At the time, teammate Leonardo Bonucci said Kean had to take “50-50 of the blame” for the abuse he was subjected to after lifting his arms aloft and looking to the stands. His remarks were later criticized by Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling, among others.
France international Blaise Matuidi spoke out last year after being racially abused during Juventus’ match against Cagliari, and then in 2017, midfielder Sulley Muntari was racially abused while playing for Pescara at Cagliari.
Muntari was booked after remonstrated with fans, after which he walked from the pitch and was booked again. He initially received a one-match ban that was later rescinded.