Sevilla condemn 'racist insults' against Acuna and coaching staff

rugby31 March 2024 07:00| © Reuters
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Marcos Acuna © Gallo Images

Sevilla's Argentina defender Marcos Acuna and coaching staff were the target of "racist and xenophobic insults" from fans in the 1-0 LaLiga win at Getafe on Saturday, the club said.

Referee Iglesias Villanueva stopped the match in the 68th minute as part of LaLiga's protocol against racism.

"We condemn the racist and xenophobic insults suffered by Marcos Acuna and our coaching staff," Sevilla said in a statement published on the social media platform X.

LaLiga added in a statement: "There is no place for racist or hateful behaviour in sport. LaLiga vehemently condemns any racist act and will continue to work to eradicate this inexcusable behaviour from our sport."

Sevilla coach Quique Sanchez Flores said he had also received xenophobic insults against him as fans called him a "gypsy" in a derogatory manner.

"First, I want to say that I am proud of every pore in my veins that can breathe gypsy. But it's one thing to be a gypsy and another to use it as a racist insult. I find it abhorrent," said Sanchez.

"Serious action needs to be taken, our players have suffered as well, I am against any racist chanting."

Getafe coach Jose Bordalas said the protocol had to be activated in this case and agreed that serious measures needed to be taken if racist chants were to be stopped.

"I agree that the protocol was activated. If the referee and in this case Acuna heard it (abuse), it was good that they stopped the match," he told a press conference.

Reuters has contacted Getafe for comment.

Real Madrid's Brazil winger Vinicius Jr, who has suffered from several incidents of racist abuse and is part of a campaign against racism, spoke out in support of those affected.

He is suspended for Real's match at home to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday after picking up five yellow cards.

"This weekend, I won't even play. But we had three despicable cases of racism in Spain this Saturday alone," he posted on social media.

"Racists must be exposed and matches cannot continue with them in the stands. We will only have victory when the racists leave the stadiums and go straight to jail, the place they deserve."

Last season there were 10 such episodes against 23-year-old Vinicius Jr reported to prosecutors by LaLiga.