Atletico hit with partial stadium closure after racist abuse

rugby30 April 2024 19:21| © Reuters
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Nico Williams © Getty Images

Atletico Madrid must partially close their stadium for two LaLiga matches after Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams suffered racial abuse there, the Spanish football federation said Tuesday.

The Spain international heard monkey chants directed at him in the first half of his team's 3-1 defeat at Atletico's Metropolitano stadium in Spain's top flight on Saturday.

"(Atletico have been issued) a sanction of partial closure of their sports venue for a period of two matches and a financial penalty of €20 000," said the federation's competition committee in a statement.

One area of Atletico's stadium will be shut for the upcoming league matches against Celta Vigo and Osasuna, as they strive for a top four finish.

"I went to take the corner and I heard monkey noises," said Williams after Saturday's game.

"There weren't many of them. There are stupid people everywhere... I hope this changes bit by bit."

Williams scored after the abuse and celebrated by pointing to his arm in reference to his skin colour.

"(The celebration) was with a bit of anger, it's not normal to be insulted for the colour of your skin," he added.

Spanish football has suffered a spate of racist incidents in recent years, many of which have been aimed at Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior.

The Brazil international earned global support after facing off with a fan who was abusing him last year at Valencia's Mestalla stadium, which also faced subsequent partial closure.