The entire Valencia team leaves the field after alleged racist abuse directed at a teammate

Spanish soccer team Valencia CF walked off the pitch in the first half of a La Liga match on Sunday after defender Mouctar Diakhaby allegedly dealt with racist abuse from local team Cádiz. The visitors finally returned, without Diakhaby, to end the game.

In the 29th minute, with the teams tied 1-1, Diakhaby and Juan Cala from Cádiz exchanged words. The situation heated up and Diakhaby had to be held back by players from both teams. After the game, Valencia captain José Luis Gayà told Spanish network Movistar that “Diakhaby told us that he heard a racist insult.”

Diakhaby received a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct during the stoppage of play. After defending his case to the referee, he left the field. His teammates followed him, led by Gaya. Cádiz also left.

Approximately 20 minutes later, Valencia issued a statement saying that it would return to the game:

“The team has met and has decided to fight for the shield again, but firm in condemning racism in all its forms,” ​​said the tweet in Spanish. A follow-up tweet repeated support for the shares of Diakhaby.

The players took back the field and resumed play after a five-minute warm-up. Diakhaby was replaced by Hugo Guillamon, with the defender watching the rest of the game from the stands. Cala finished the first half but was substituted during the break. Cádiz would win 2-1.

In a post-match video interview, Gayà said the whole team was behind Diakhaby: “We supported him at all times. We did what he told us.”

Valencia cf in Youtube

Manager Javi Gracia also expressed his support for Diakhaby’s actions. “I told the fourth official that, during what happened, we protected the attacked player so that no further damage was caused to him, and that we did not understand that the player who caused the problem was still allowed on the field,” he said in a statement.

“What worried me the most was the state of my player. If he had told us that he did not think we should play, we would not have played, at the risk of what would have happened. When he said to go back out, I was forced to make the decision to continue playing. We returned with Diakhaby’s shirt on the bench and with the intention of dedicating the victory to him. “

A more extensive statement from Valencia later clarified that “The Club did not ask the players to return to the field of play. The referee informed the players of the consequences of not returning to the field of play. The players, forced to play low threat of Penalty after the racist insults and the yellow card to Diakhaby, decided to return to the pitch ”.

Valencia also said that Diakhaby personally “requested that his teammates return to the field of play to continue the game. They respected his wish.”

Cádiz shared a statement after the match condemning racism and xenophobia.

“The club cannot comment on the incidents that arise between players during the course of the play, and always demands respect and responsibility from its players in their attitude towards opponents,” said the team.

Cala has yet to respond.

“It is unfortunate that this type of thing continues to happen in football, and a solution must be put in place,” Gayà said of ongoing incidents of racism in sport.


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