Roma and AC Milan condemn 'Black Friday' front page headline
Roma have described the 'Black Friday' headline used by Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport as "terrible", while Lukaku has described it as the "dumbest" headline he's seen.
Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport published a front page headline on Wednesday with pictures of Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku, accompanied by the words 'Black Friday'.
Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport's headline is 'Black Friday', as Romelu Lukaku will play against Chris Smalling this Friday in Serie A. This is not normal. pic.twitter.com/Gyw0rCIPKe
— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) December 4, 2019
The two players will face off in a Serie A match on Friday night, when AS Roma take on Inter Milan at the San Siro.
Roma have implemented a temporary ban on the newspaper, saying that they "remain totally committed to tackling racism."
They said: "In response to the ‘BLACK FRIDAY’ headline published today by the newspaper, Roma and Milan 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."
You can see their statement in full here.
Meanwhile, both Lukaku and Smalling themselves have also released powerful statements condemning the headline.
Lukaku's statement can be found here, where he described it as the "dumbest" headline he has ever seen:
Smalling's can be found here:
— Chris Smalling (@ChrisSmalling) December 5, 2019
Romelu Lukaku is one of many black footballers to be the victim of racist abuse in Italy already this season, as has Mario Balotelli and Kalidou Koulibaly.