Inter’s Curva Nord supporters have claimed alleged abuse of striker Romelu Lukaku from Cagliari fans was not racist but “a form of respect”.Lukaku, who joined Inter in a club-record deal from Manchester United last month, appeared to be the subject of monkey chants from Cagliari supporters as he scored in the Nerazzurri’s 2-1 Serie A away win on Sunday.The Belgium international later called for players to “unify” against discrimination , with Cagliari fans accused of singling out other black players in the past, notably Sulley Muntari, Blaise Matuidi and Moise Kean. Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream However, the Curva Nord fans at San Siro – a vocal section of the Inter support – have responded to Lukaku’s comments with an open letter addressed to their club’s new signing.The supporters defended Cagliari and claimed racism is not a “real problem” in Italy.The letter, posted on the group’s Facebook page, begins: “Hi Romelu. We are writing to you on behalf of the Curva Nord; yes, the guys who welcomed you on your arrival in Milan.”We are really sorry you thought that what happened in Cagliari was racist. You have to understand that Italy is not like many other north European countries where racism is a real problem.”The group continue, claiming such chants are common to “help our teams”, adding: “We are not racist and so nor are the Cagliari fans.”Attempting to explain the abuse, the supporters suggest Lukaku was pinpointed because his talent made him a threat to Cagliari.”Please consider this attitude of Italian fans as a form of respect for the fact they are afraid of you for the goals you might score against their teams and not because they hate you or they are racist,” the Curva Nord said.They add that claims of racism support the “repression of all football fans” by highlighting “a problem that is not really there”.England international Jadon Sancho offered Lukaku his support following the incident , saying the Inter star “handled it really well by not reacting and carrying on playing”.The issue of racism has come to the fore in English football in recent weeks, with a number of black Premier League players subjected to abuse on social media.Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Tammy Abraham were all targeted following missed penalties, while Kurt Zouma was abused after scoring an own goal.
Front-Runner in River Cruising Innovation to Debut AmaDouro, AmaMagna, AmaMora; More Space, Amenities, Wine Cruises, Tours and Land Programs Await CALABASAS, CA – (June 19, 2018) – AmaWaterways today launched its 2019 Europe, Asia & Africa Extensive Brochure. Maintaining its unprecedented commitment to innovation, the company will continue to transform river cruising in 2019 with the addition of three state-of-the-art ships, more than 60 wine cruises, enhanced wellness activities, and a new Exclusive Concierge Golf Program for AmaMagna guests. “We are so excited to introduce some incredible new ships, amenities and programs in 2019, providing even more opportunities for our guests to personalize their river cruise vacation,” said Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner of AmaWaterways. “All our teams on board are whole-heartedly dedicated to the complete happiness of our guests and are committed to providing the most authentic and luxurious river cruise experience available today.” Welcoming AmaDouro, AmaMagna and AmaMora to European FleetIn 2019, AmaWaterways will add three ships to its European fleet: AmaDouro, AmaMagna (pictured right) and AmaMora. The highly-anticipated AmaMagna will begin sailing the Danube river in May 2019. At nearly twice the width of traditional European river cruise ships, the revolutionary ship boasts generous personal space, expansive elegantly appointed suites — most over 355 sq. ft. — and more onboard amenities than ever before. Enhanced dining options include the Al Fresco Restaurant, Jimmy’s Wine Bar Restaurant and The Chef’s Table Restaurant. More activities will also be available, including an expansive Zen Wellness Studio, and Water Sports Platform, where complimentary tours will be offered on the intimate Sundowner vessel. AmaWaterways’ Concierge Golf Program, exclusive to AmaMagna, provides guests with the opportunity to golf at five of Europe’s most prestigious courses in Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic while enjoying the magic of river cruising. The Concierge Golf Program creates a seamless golfing experience in which guests will be transported from the ship by a private luxury Mercedes to the golf course. The Exclusive Concierge Golf Program is available on both theRomantic Danube and Melodies of the Danube itineraries from May to mid-October. Expanding the company’s presence in Portugal, AmaDouro, carrying an intimate 102 guests, has been specially designed to showcase the beautiful UNESCO-designated Douro River Valley where she will join sister ship AmaVida. In addition, AmaWaterways is pleased to welcome 156-guest AmaMora, sister ship to AmaLeaand AmaKristina, to the Rhine river. New Activities and Onboard AmenitiesWhile on AmaWaterways’ European fleet, guests will enjoy the line’s popular Wellness Program as they expand to feature on all European ships* in 2019. Led by professionally trained Wellness Hosts, guests can join group exercise activities – including morning stretches, core strengthening and resistance band workouts– complemented by healthy eating options and relaxation techniques taught on board. In 2019 AmaWaterways will offer more than 60 hosted Wine Cruises that feature North American Wine Hosts. Onboard wine tasting and discussions, plus specialty shore excursions to celebrated cellars and wineries, highlight the remarkable epicurean experiences of each destination – at no additional cost. Immersive Travel Made SimpleAmaWaterways has enhanced its land programs to provide the most immersive cultural experience on the river. New in 2019, the company will offer an optional pre-cruise land extension for every cruise, with new ways to explore fascinating cities such as Amsterdam, Budapest, Lucerne, Munich, Zurich and Reykjavik. New, included excursions range from tours in the historic cities of Prague and Paris to exploring the charming countryside of Romania. In addition, AmaWaterways is adding new pre-cruise extensions in Bilbao and San Sebastian, Spain prior to embarkation on its Taste of Bordeaux itinerary, as well as a post-cruise option in Rwanda, Africa, which may be added to each of its five Zambezi Queen itineraries on the Chobe River. The four-night Rwanda extension gives guests the rare opportunity to experience Kigali and Volcanoes National Park, which is home to Silverback Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys. More shore excursions will also be available to guests traveling with AmaWaterways in 2019, as the company adds to its already extensive menu of up to 20 complimentary options during a seven-night cruise. “As our future and returning guests begin to make their travel plans for 2019, I can’t help but be excited on their behalf,” said Karst. “With three new ships, new additions on board and on land, we are offering the perfect immersive experience, customizable to deliver exactly what each guest is looking for in their vacation.” *Not available on Douro river cruises. For pricing, Early Booking promotional offers and specific itineraries, download AmaWaterways’ 2019 Extensive Brochure at www.AmaWaterways.com. To request a printed brochure, please contact your travel professional, order online or call (800) 626-0126. To book your 2019 AmaWaterways river cruise vacation, contact your travel professional or call (800) 626-0126. Follow AmaWaterways on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmaWaterways and Twitter @AmaWaterways. About AmaWaterwaysA family-owned company celebrating 16 years on the river, AmaWaterways offers unforgettable river cruises with 23 ships that sail Europe’s Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Main, Rhone, Seine, Garonne, Dordogne, Dutch and Belgian Waterways and Douro rivers, Southeast Asia’s Mekong and Africa’s Chobe River. The company is renowned for its innovative stateroom design featuring unique “twin balconies”; its wide choice of included shore excursions featuring biking and hiking options for the active traveler; and its award-winning dining – including The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant as well as complimentary fine wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner. Modern, spacious and tastefully decorated, each ship carries less than 162 guests and features onboard amenities such as hair and massage salons and a fitness room and many have heated outdoor swimming pools with swim-up bars. AmaWaterways leads the river cruise industry with a variety of themed sailings and brand relationships, offering group or chartered sailings geared towards active travelers and families. With the highest-rated ships in Europe according to the third edition of Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe & the USA, AmaWaterways has received countless honors and accolades including Town & Country River Cruise Awards as “Best Overall,” “Best for Food,” “Best for Onboard Activities” and “Best for On-Shore Activities” and 2017AFAR Reader’s Choice Awards “Best River Cruise Line.”