Romelu Lukaku: TV pundit says he is not racist after being suspended over comments on Inter striker
Last Updated: 17/09/19 1:06pm
A TV pundit has insisted he is "not a racist" after he was suspended for comments he made on-air regarding Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku.
TopCalcio24's Luciano Passirani was fired shortly after making a comment directed at Lukaku on Sunday.
Speaking on the Qui Studio a Voi Stadio show, Passirani started off by saying: "I don't see any other player in Italy now like Lukaku. [...] I really like him," before adding, "the only way to stop him is to say, Here are ten bananas that you can eat."
Passirani has now tried to set the record straight, highlighting his multicultural family as a reason why he is not a racist.
"I am 80 years old," Passirani told broadcaster Telelombardia, as reported by Corriere dello Sport.
"I have been in the world of football for 40 years, I have never received a disqualification for behaviour in any of the roles I have held, but I accept the decision made against me.
"I would like not to pass for a racist. My partner who has lived with me for 17 years is black, I have two little black granddaughters, my son's daughters. I am not a racist and I believe I am an educated person in every respect.
"In my career I met so many black players and I never had any problems."
Lukaku was targeted with monkey chants by Cagliari fans this month.
Serie A's disciplinary judge has not decided yet whether or not Cagliari should be punished.
Passirani said he would like the opportunity to apologise to the Belgium international in person.
"Today I spent one of the worst days of my life. A lot of people called me, I think I'm an educated person, but this unintended phrase made me very sad," Passirani added.
"I'm not a racist, I'd like to apologise to Lukaku in person, I wish I could meet him.
"I did not sleep tonight, today I could not eat, a lack of tact and education does not belong to my way of being."