Italian publication Corriere dello Sport received a lot of criticism for it’s controversial and racist headline. The front cover of the newspaper read as - ‘Black Friday’ - with former Manchester United teammates Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling featuring alongside the headline. The publication was at the receiving end of criticism as fans were quick to react against the headline.
Romelu Lukaku, who now plays for Inter Milan, has responded on the matter. He commented that instead of focusing on the battle between two teams, Corriere dello Sport came up with the most dumbest of headlines he had ever seen in his career. He went on to bash the publication by saying that they keep fuelling negativity, instead of talking about the beautiful game that is going to be played at San Siro between two great clubs. He advised the publication to do a better job and focus solely on football. Lukaku further appreciated fans’ support and thanked them and other journalists for highlighting the incident.
Smalling also posted a separate statement. According to Smalling, he would have liked to spend the day focusing on the big game, but it is important that he acknowledged the situation. He further hoped that the editors involved in running this headline took responsibility and understood the power they possess through words, and the impact those words can have.
Chris Smalling had secured a loan move to AS Roma this summer, while Romelu Lukaku moved to Inter Milan on a permanent basis. The former United teammates will face off as AS Roma will travel to Milan to take on Antonio Conte's side in their Serie A Matchday 15 clash. Inter Milan are leading in Serie A with Juventus trailing behind by a point. AS Roma, on the other hand, are fifth on the Serie A table with 28 points.