Published on :
The French player of Valence, Mouctar Diakhaby, says he was the target of racist insults by an opponent of the club of Cadiz. The defender suddenly left the pitch, followed by his teammates, who then resumed the game. Juan Cala, alleged perpetrator of the racist attack, denies insulting Diakhaby.
The players of Spanish club Valencia briefly left the pitch during their match in Cadiz on Sunday (April 4th). The Valencian football club wanted to protest, claiming that its French defender Mouctar Diakhaby had been the target of racist insults by an opponent.
“All our support for Diakhaby. No to racism. The player, who received a racist insult, asked his teammates to return to the pitch to fight. All with you, Mouctar”, wrote Valencia CF in the stride, on Twitter.
Around the 31e minute of play, when the score was 1-1, Diakhaby stopped playing to attack Spanish player from Cádiz, Juan Cala. The two men started to shout at each other, then Diakhaby indicated to the referee that he was going to leave the field, which earned him a yellow card.
The French then left the pitch, followed by all his teammates.
“It was Diakhaby who asked us to play, otherwise we wouldn’t have done it”
The interruption of this match counting for the 29e La Liga day lasted a quarter of an hour, then the game resumed from the 37e minute, without Diakhaby, remained in the locker room and replaced by Hugo Guillamon, but still with Cala on the Cadiz side.
Mouctar Diakhaby then took his place in the stands to watch the rest of the match. After half-time, Alvaro Cervera, the coach of Cadiz, decided to bring out Cala and replace him with Marcos Mauro… Who then scored the 2-1 winning goal for Cadiz, in the 89e.
“Diakhaby told us there was a racist insult so we went home [aux vestiaires]. We were told that we had to play again because otherwise we would lose all three points, or more. It was Diakhaby who asked us to play, otherwise we wouldn’t have done it. […] He told us he didn’t want to replay. Diakhaby is devastated. It was a very ugly insult that I will not repeat “, reacted Valencian left-back Gaya at Movistar’s microphone at the final whistle.
Cala denies insulting Diakhaby
In the evening, the two clubs each issued a press release to speak out against all forms of racism. “We do not doubt the honesty of all members of our workforce, who are fervent defenders of the fight against racism”, assured the club of Cadiz in its press release, adding that “all the authors of this kind of misdemeanors, whether on our team or not, must pay for it. “
Cádiz coach Alvaro Cervera said in a post-match press conference that “Cala said at no point did he insult the player. I have to believe my player. […] He didn’t tell me he hadn’t told him anything, he told me he hadn’t insulted him. “
Repeated incidents in Spanish stadiums
This incident is reminiscent of November 2020 in Spain. Following a complaint lodged by La Liga, an investigation was opened against two supporters of Espanyol Barcelona for racist insults and cries of monkey uttered in January 2020 against the striker Basque athlete from Athletic Bilbao Iñaki Williams.
Four months after the incident at PSG-Basaksehir, this new case of racism in a Spanish football stadium comes a little over two months before the Euro (which is to take place from June 11 to July 11) whose one of the host cities will be Bilbao.
Contacted by AFP, La Liga has not yet wished to react, limiting itself to responding that the report of the refereeing body, where these incidents were clearly and at length detailed, could possibly lead to an investigation.