Vincent Kompany says the "disgraceful" racist abuse suffered by his Belgium teammate Romelu Lukaku shows more diversity is needed in football's governing bodies.
Inter Milan striker Lukaku was subjected to monkey chants from Cagliari fans as he prepared to take a penalty in a Serie A match on Sunday.
After scoring the penalty, Lukaku made a post-match plea for football authorities to unite against the blight of racism.
Former Manchester City defender Kompany, who is now player-manager at Anderlecht, was shocked by the incident but said the sport did not have enough diversity in the corridors of power.
"I always take it much further. Romelu is obviously a victim of something disgraceful that happened but not just in a football stadium, also in society," Kompany told Sky Sports News on Wednesday.
"So if you go back to who he is now expecting a decision from -- the institutions -- that's where the problem lies.
"Real racism lies in the fact that none of these institutions have representatives that can actually understand what Romelu is going through.
"That's the real issue. On boards at (European football's governing body) UEFA and in England and Italy and most places there is a problem with diversity in places of power and in boardrooms.
"If you don't have that diversity then you can't have the right decisions in terms of sanctions, it's as simple as that."
Lukaku is the latest player to suffer racist abuse following recent cases involving Manchester United stars Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford and Chelsea's Tammy Abraham and Kurt Zouma.
Last season, Everton's Moise Kean suffered similar taunts while playing for Juventus at Cagliari's Sardegna Arena.