Was the Dani Alves banana incident pre-planned?
Reports suggest a marketing firm approached Neymar and Alves prior to the incident at the weekend
AS have reported that after Alves' Barcelona and Brazil team-mate Neymar had been racially abused in the Catalan derby at Espanyol in late March, a group of marketing firms were asked to develop a campaign which could draw attention to an issue which has blighted Spanish football for years, and it was decided that when the next incident occurred, one of them would eat the fruit on camera.
The striking image could then be used to spearhead a social media campaign, with professional backing already in place to help ensure maximum impact.
Minutes after the Alves incident at Villarreal on Sunday, Neymar, who is currently recovering from a foot injury, had posted images of himself and his young son with bananas to his Instagram and Twitter accounts with the hashtag #somostodosmacacos, or in English #weareallmonkeys.
Guga Ketzer, partner in advertising agency Loducca who allegedly worked on the project with Brazilian marketers Meio e Mensagen and the Neymar camp, was quoted as telling AS:"Actions speak louder than words. A gesture needs no translation and what we're seeing is that this has gone viral, globally. The idea was for Neymar to eat the banana, but in the end it was Alves, and that works just the same."
"The best way to beat prejudice is to take the sting out of the racist action so it isn't repeated. We created #somostodosmacacos and #weareallmonkeys, with the gesture of eating a banana, and it has been turned into a movement."