By many who see things from a Juventus supporter’s point of view, the Italian football federation’s decision to ban the entirety of the Tribuna Sud from Juve’s next home game in the aftermath of the Romelu Lukaku being racially abused was maybe too harsh of a call.
The logic behind that came from the fact that suddenly thousands of Juventus supporters who played no part in another uncalled for situation of a player being racially abused were made to pay for the actions of such a small amount of “fans” that you can count on one hand.
On Friday, the FIGC announced that the ban that would have happened when Napoli make their trip to the Allianz Stadium later this month has been reversed upon Juventus’ appeal. That means it will be a full stadium when the Serie A leaders and soon-to-be-crowned champions rather than an empty Tribuna Sud for one of the biggest and likely most intense Serie A games Juventus has left on the schedule.
Squalifica curva #Juventus: sospesa la sanzione. Ufficiale.— Giovanni Albanese (@GiovaAlbanese) April 14, 2023
Juventus acted quickly in finding those in the Tribuna Sud who racially abused Lukaku both before and after he scored the game-tying penalty late in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semifinals earlier this month. Lukaku had every right to react the way he did, and the fact that he got a pair of yellows for everything that happened just shows you how there’s no context in the rules and how they are interpreted.
New Juventus Chief Football Officer Francesco Calvo said the following before Thursday night’s Europa League quarterfinal against Sporting:
“We are always very active in campaigns against racism. We were surprised that our help in identifying those responsible wasn’t taken into account. Since Juve-Inter was a Coppa Italia match, it was a non-subscription event. So only 1028 were subscribers that day, out of the 4500 generally present in that sector. A large portion of the fans who will not be able to go to attend the match against Napoli weren’t even at the stadium that day.”
Calvo added that the club has installed 115 cameras within Allianz Stadium to help identify the guilty parties when racial incidents happen. Along with video from social media, Juve were able to quickly zero in on the offenders and then share it with the local police.