Sevilla condemn racist abuse in Getafe game

Sevilla have condemned “racist and xenophobic abuse” aimed at defender Marcos Acuña and coach Quique Sanchez Flores during their 1-0 LaLiga win at Getafe on Saturday.

The game was stopped in the 68th minute, with a warning issued over the stadium tannoy — following LaLiga’s anti-racism protocol — after shouts of “Acuña, monkey” were heard from the crowd, referee Javier Iglesias Villanueva said in his match report.

Sevilla manager Sánchez Flores then said in his post-match news conference that he had been called “gypsy” by a group of fans.

Sanchez Flores has coached Getafe three times, most recently from October 2021 until April 2023, saving them from relegation in the 2021-22 season.

“I’m proud, with every inch of my body, to be a gypsy,” Sánchez Flores said. “But it’s one thing being a gypsy, or having gypsy heritage, and another thing for it to be used as a racist insult. That seems abnormal to me.

“Some of the fans think they can say whatever they want here. That’s what happens in every stadium, around the world. People think they can say whatever they want. But we’re workers, we’re here to work, in peace, in a space where we should be respected.

“In this day and age, where so many advances are being made, it seems abnormal to me. And I should also say that there were some Getafe fans who were against what the others were saying.”

“We’ve been asking for respect in football for some time,” Sevilla’s goalscorer Sergio Ramos said. “People shouldn’t come to a stadium to let off steam, to say silly things, to insult players. The assistant referee heard an insult aimed at Acuña and he let the referee know.

“I think we have to deal with these people, point them out, so others can see them, and ban them from stadiums, to clean up football’s image. Football is a marvelous sport, and it should unite, not divide.”

“If the referee and Acuña heard it, it must have happened,” Getafe coach José Bordalás said. “It’s normal that the protocol was activated. We’re against any insult, any racist chant, wherever it is, in any venue.”

A third-division game between Sestao River and Rayo Majadahonda was also suspended in the final minutes after the goalkeeper of the visiting side was sent off after he confronted a fan who allegedly racially insulted him.

Rayo goalie Cheikh Sarr, who is Black, was issued a red card after he approached the stands behind his net.

His club said on Twitter it would not continue the game “after the unacceptable racist insults toward our player.”

Racism in Spanish football has been a topic of considerable conversation in recent months, particularly in regard to the treatment of Real Madrid’s Vinícius Júnior, who broke down in tears ahead of Brazil’s international friendly with Spain when asked about the issue.

Vinícius posted a message on his X account showing his support for Acuña, Sánchez Flores and Sarr.

“We had three despicable cases of racism in Spain this Saturday,” he wrote. “The racists should be expelled and games should not continue with them in the stands. We will only achieve victory when these racists are taken out of the stadiums and straight into prison, the place where they belong.”

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