Leeds: Inter Milan and AS Roma have banned an Italian newspaper from the clubs' training grounds for the rest of 2019 after the daily printed a controversial 'Black Friday' headline.
The headline was used on the front page of the newspaper named 'Corriere dello Sport' as a build-up for the match between both these clubs, Goal.com reported.
Images of Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) and Chris Smalling (AS Roma) were used along with the headline. Both these players were former teammates at Premier League side Manchester United.
"We are all trying to tackle the issue of racism in Italian football."— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 5, 2019
Roma have said the 'Black Friday' headline used by an Italian newspaper is "terrible".
👉 https://t.co/73nXnbX3qu pic.twitter.com/Xx4zTu9ONp
Ever since the headline came out, the newspaper has faced severe backlash for choosing insensitive words to build-up a football match.
Both the clubs also condemned the headline on their social media handles. The targeted players -- Lukaku and Smalling -- also chose to express their displeasure.
"Instead of focusing on a battle between two teams, Corriere dello sport comes with the most dumbest of headlines I have ever seen in my career. You guys keep fuelling the negativity and the racism issue," Lukaku tweeted.
"I hope the editors involved in running this headline take responsibility and understand the power they possess through words and the impact those words can have," Smalling tweeted.
However, the newspaper has still not come out with a formal apology, rather they chose to defend their headline.
"Black Friday", for those who want and can understand it, was and is only the praise of difference, the pride of difference, the magnificent wealth of difference. If you don't understand it, it's because you can't do it or because you do it," the newspaper said in a statement.
Inter Milan and AS Roma will take on each other later today.