UEFA blasts banana, monkey abuse
European football’s governing body UEFA on Monday blasted racist attacks in Spain and called for action after fans subjected foreign players to monkey taunts and banana-throwing.
Spain’s Football League followed suit and warned of sanctions for racist behaviour, while announcing compulsory training for all its member clubs to avoid a repeat of the same behaviour.
Just a week after a fan threw a banana at Barcelona’s Brazilian defender Dani Alves, another player, Levante’s Senegalese midfielder Pape Diop, was subjected to monkey taunts on Sunday.
“UEFA and its president Michel Platini strongly condemn all forms of discrimination including recent racist behaviour of fans in Spain,” Platini’s spokesman Pedro Pinto said in a message on Twitter.
“UEFA has tough rules and sanctions against all forms of discrimination for all of its competitions,” he added.
“Where instances occur outside of our jurisdiction, we support appropriate action being taken by the relevant authorities.”
The 28-year-old Diop accused Atletico Madrid fans of subjecting him to monkey-chanting abuse as his side inflicted a shock 2-0 defeat on the Liga leaders at the weekend.
He reacted by dancing in front of the travelling fans at the final whistle, and television images showed some furious Atletico supporters making monkey gestures.
“It affected me a lot,” Diop said.
“I don’t have anything against the Atletico fans. It is a provocation I get in many grounds. It has to stop. I don’t know if it is racism or a lack of respect,” he added.
“They have to stop making monkey gestures at black players.”
Spain’s professional football league, the LFP, said it “strongly condemns” any racist, discriminatory, violent, xenophobic or intolerant acts, especially in football and sport.
The league warned of sanctions for serious breaches of anti-racism laws and said all member clubs would be obliged to follow special training to prevent a repeat of such behaviour.
“The LFP will pursue this type of behaviour,” it said in a statement.
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