Monday 24 July 2017

Brazilian midfielder leaves the pitch in tears after being racially abused by fans

Partizan Belgrade's Brazilian midfielder Everton Luiz leaves the field in tears on February 19, 2017, at the end of a Serbian championship match between Partizan and Rad, after racist remarks from Rad's supporters, Serbian television B92 reported.
(Photo credit STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Partizan Belgrade's Brazilian midfielder Everton Luiz leaves the field in tears on February 19, 2017, at the end of a Serbian championship match between Partizan and Rad, after racist remarks from Rad's supporters, Serbian television B92 reported. (Photo credit STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Mark Critchley

Everton Luiz, the Partizan Belgrade midfielder, left the pitch in tears on Sunday after he was racially abused by sections of a rival club’s supporters.

The 28-year-old Brazilian midfielder was subjected to monkey noises and jeers throughout his side’s 1-0 away win over neighbours FK Rad.

The match was briefly stopped at one point while stewards removed a banner insulting Luiz, while warnings to fans issued over the Stadion Karlj Petar Prvi’s PA system failed to stop the abuse.

Luiz appeared to make a gesture to the Rad supporters after the final whistle, which sparked small scuffles in the stands and arguments between his fellow players on the pitch.

The former Lugano and St Gallen midfielder then left the field of play in a clear state of distress.

After the match, he told reporters: “I've been suffering racist abuse during the entire 90 minutes and also was upset by the home players, who supported that. They were all attacking me.”

“I want to forget this as soon as possible. I love Serbia and the people here, that is why I cried. But please say no to racism.”

Luiz’s manager, Marko Nikolic, called for Serbia’s football authorities to discipline Rad’s supporters, but did not condone his player’s reaction to the abuse.

He said: “Everton should not have reacted but something provoked his outburst, didn't it?

“Both sides in the incident should be punished. These things happen in football but it is now up to the authorities to sanction the offenders. It's a return to the reality of Serbian football.”

Nikolic himself was embroiled in a racism row last year when he was sacked by Slovenia’s Olimpija Ljubljana for abusing one of his own players.

The 37-year-old coach called Blessing Eleke, his striker of Nigerian descent, a ‘black idiot’ for spending too long celebrating a late equaliser.

Nikolic was banned for seven games by the Slovenian FA for ‘clear racism’ and was subsequently dismissed by Milan Mandaric, Olimpija Ljubljana’s chairman.

(© Independent News Service)

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