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An Italian newspaper is being called out for promoting an upcoming match by showing 2 black players with the headline 'Black Friday'

Barnaby Lane , Business Insider US
 Dec 05, 2019, 06:31 PM

Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling were both pictured alongside Corriere dello Sport's controversial headline.
Getty/Soccrates Images/Andrea Staccioli
  • Newspaper Corriere dello Sport has beeen called out for using the headline "Black Friday" alongside pictures of both Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling.
  • The front page was an effort to promote Friday's game between Inter Milan and AS Roma.
  • Roma described it as "terrible" according to the BBC, whilst anti-racism organisation Fare Network tweeted: "The media fuels racism every day."
  • Italian football has been marred by several incidents of racism already this season, including monkey chants directed at both Lukaku and Brescia's Mario Balotelli in separate matches.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za

Newspaper Corriere dello Sport has fueled the already high racial tensions in Italian football with its controversial choice of headline to promote the upcoming match between Inter Milan and AS Roma.

The paper used the headline "Black Friday" alongside pictures of both Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling ahead of this Friday's Serie A clash.

Lukaku and Smalling both played together at Manchester United between 2017-2019, before both moving to Italy in the summer. This weekend's clash is the first time they will meet since leaving Old Trafford.

The article went on to describe how the pair would be the "battle inside tomorrow's big game" and claimed that both "have taken strong stances against racism," according to the BBC. However, despite the well intended message, Corriere dello Sport's choice of headline has sparked huge backlash from the two clubs, the Italian media, and anti-racism organisations.

Roma described the title as "terrible" and said it "totally overshadowed the anti-racist message contained within the story," whilst Inter said that it is and "always will be opposed to any form of discrimination," according to the BBC.

The anti-discrimination organisation Fare Network tweeted: "The media fuels racism every day."

Journalist Matteo Bonetti was also outraged, tweeting: "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."

Corriere dello Sport did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Italian football has been marred by several incidents of racism already this season.

Lukaku himself was subjected to monkey chants at the hands of Cagliari supporters back in September, according to the BBC, whilst Brescia striker Mario Balotelli suffered similar abuse in a game against Verona in November, prompting him to kick the ball at those responsible and threaten to leave the field.

Shortly after the Balotelli incident, an amateur club in Italy stated its intention to wear "blackface" as an anti-racism protest, which was given the green light by the vice president of the Italian Football Federation, Cosimo Sibilia. Just last week, all 20 Serie A clubs took a pledge tackle its "serious problem" that it "has not done enough to combat over the years," the BBC reported.

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