Sports News

Romelu Lukaku & Chris Smalling criticise ‘Black Friday’ headline

Romelu Lukaku (left) and Chris Smalling are former Manchester United team-mates

Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku says the ‘Black Friday’ headline used by Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport is “one of the dumbest” he has seen, while Roma’s Chris Smalling condemned it as “wrong and insensitive”.

The headline accompanied pictures of Lukaku and Smalling prior to Friday’s match between their two sides.

“You guys keep fuelling the negativity and the racism issue,” Lukaku said.

Smalling urged the newspaper’s editors to “understand the power they possess”.

Roma, along with Inter’s rivals AC Milan, announced later on Thursday they will not work with Corriere dello Sport until January.

A joint statement released at the same time by Roma and AC Milan said: “We have decided to ban Corriere dello Sport from our training facilities for the rest of the year and our players will not carry out any media activities with the newspaper during this period.

“Both clubs are aware the actual newspaper article associated with the ‘Black Friday’ headline did portray an anti-racist message and for this reason we have only banned Corriere dello Sport until January.

“We remain totally committed to tackling racism.”

Corriere dello Sport defended the “innocent” headline in a comment piece on its website.