Football's governing bodies lack the diversity needed to understand the feelings of players suffering racial abuse, Anderlecht player-manager Vincent Kompany said on Wednesday.
Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku was subjected to racist abuse in a 2-1 Serie A win at Cagliari on Sunday and urged federations and social media to do more to fight racism.
His Belgian compatriot Kompany believes the problem lies with the game's governing bodies, including FIFA and UEFA.
"It goes back to who is expected to make a decision on these issues, and it's in these organisations that the problems lie," former Manchester City skipper Kompany said.
"The real racism lies in the fact none of these institutions have representatives that can actually understand what Romelu is going through."
Kompany has previously said that diversity in club boardrooms and institutions of power can help tackle racism more effectively than just punishing individual offenders.
"If you don't have diversity in places of power like boardrooms then you can't have the right decisions in terms of sanctions -- it's as simple as that," he added.
Inter Milan fan group Curva Nord defended Cagliari's supporters for the monkey chants and said it was just how they cheer for football in Italy.
"We understand that it could have seemed racist to you but it's not like that," the group said in an open letter to Lukaku.
"In Italy we use some 'ways' only to 'help our teams' and to try to make our opponents nervous, not for racism but to mess them up... we are not racist and so are not the Cagliari fans.
"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."
However, the Fare Network, a group whose purpose is to fight inequality in European football, issued a statement that hit back at the response from the ultras and called for strong action to be taken against anyone involved in the incident.
The statement read: "We have been appalled to see yet another incident of racism in Italy in the form of abuse aimed at Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku at the Cagliari v Inter Milan Serie A game."
And added: "Videos circulating on social media show that monkey chants are clearly audible. The Italian FA and Serie A have this footage, it is clear evidence and the basis on which to take action that sends a strong message."