UEFA has demanded action be taken against racism in Spanish football, following recent monkey chants and banana-throwing in two La Liga matches.
Former footballer Gary Linker has led the condemnation in England, following the second incident of racist abuse in a Spanish football match in a week.
Levante’s Senegalese midfielder Pape Diop was subjected to monkey chants by Atletico Madrid fans, which he responded to by dancing.
“It is an issue that has affected me a lot,” he said afterwards.
“They called me monkey and I turned and imitated a monkey, I’m tired of racism in football, and there’s a lot.”
This mirrored a previous incident, where Barcelona right-back Dani Alves picked up and ate a banana thrown at him by a Villarreal fan
This caused a string of footballers to post photos of them eating bananas on social networking sites in support of Alves, and the banana-throwing fan has since been arrested and banned from matches for life.
Match of the day presenter Lineker tweeted: “Spanish football must face up to the fact that they have a serious racist problem. They can’t continue to bury their heads in the sand.”
There have even been calls by British journalists for Spain to be banned from a national tournament, in the hope it will force the country to sort out its domestic problem.
But Spain’s national coach Vicente Del Bosque has claimed concerns over racism have been overblown.
He said: “I want to think these are isolated incidents. In football there is no racism, not at all.”
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