'It has no place in football' - Matuidi calls for stronger racism response after Lukaku abuse

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The Juventus star says that stronger sanctions should be taken and professed a hope that FIFA and the Italian Football Federation would jump to action

Blaise Matuidi has called upon Serie A to take action to combat racism after Inter forward Romelu Lukaku became the latest player to face abusive discrimination from the terraces last weekend.

The Belgium international appeared to be the subject of monkey chants heard from the stands at Cagliari on Sunday as he netted a penalty to help his side to a 2-1 victory.

The incident marked the fourth high-profile case involving supporters from the Sardegna Arena in two years, with Juve midfielder Matuidi previously targeted, alongside Moise Kean and Sulley Muntari.

Both the Italian Football Federation and FIFA condemned the conduct with quick order but Matuidi has now urged both governing bodies to offer a firmerresponse than a verbal slap on the wrist.

"Racism in Italy? I already had this problem," the France international told media at a conference on Thursday. "There was the Lukaku problem. It was also in the same stadium.

"I think there must be some measures [taken]. It has no place in football. And in all sports even - and even in life. We don't like to see that.

"This is not a good example for the young people, for our children. We will do everything so that it is no longer the case, even if it is difficult because it concerns a minority.

"But this minority of people has no place in the stadiums. We have bodies that are there to make decisions and I think it's up to them to make the right decisions."

Matuidi was heavily tipped to make a move to Paris Saint-Germain during the transfer window but has now dismissed rumours he was ever close to leaving Turin after starting Juve’s first two Serie A games of the season.

"I always declared that I was comfortable at Juventus, one of the best clubs in the world," he added.

"Paris will always have a place in my heart. I have supported PSG since I was a child and wearing their jersey was a dream. But now I'm proud to be at Juve."

The 32-year-old was speaking ahead of France’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Albania and Andorra, having been named as part of their squad, with him offering up effusive praise for the assembled group despite some key absences.

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"We are lucky to have a huge pool, with a lot of high-quality players," he noted. "There are important players who are absent, but there are others who are there and who have proved for their club that they can bring a lot.

"We have great confidence in this group and we are able to win despite absences.

"[The absentees] should not be an excuse. We have 23 players and must be successful and win these two games, especially at home. When we wear the jersey of the French team, we always play to win."

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