Referee halts La Liga match due to racist chants
Athletic Bilbao’s Inaki Williams was the target of racist chants by Sporting Gijon fans.
By SI Wire
  1. Fuck those people
  2. It’s honestly not common for referees to take firm action against racism in Spain, so at least something was done this time. Hopefully the Liga will level further sanctions.

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Racist insults cause referee to halt Spanish Liga match

Gijon (Spain), Aug 22 (IANS) A La Liga match was momentarily halted by the referee due to racist insults of the home fans towards an opposition footballer.

Referee Clos Gomez was forced to halt the first round match between hosts Sporting Gijon and Athletic Club Bilbao here on Sunday after racist comments were made by fans to visiting forward Inaki Williams, reports Xinhua.

Gomez stopped the game to ask the Sporting Gijon match-day delegate to broadcast a message on the public address system in the El Molinon Stadium to ask for the insults to stop.

He then took the time to calm down Williams, who was visibly upset by the “monkey chants” which had been hurled at him.

The referee also mentioned the insults in his post-game report, stating “in the 22nd minute I stopped the match for a minute because from one of the stands came sounds imitating a monkey aimed at the player number 11 Inaki Williams.”

“This act was communicated to the ground delegate for him to give the opportune instructions over the megaphone. Once the public had been advised the game began again.”

Sporting could face any of a series of sanctions for the behaviour of their supporters ranging from a fine to the temporary closure of the stand where the insults came from or even the entire ground.

Sporting won the match 2-1.



La Liga denounces racist abuse of Iñaki Williams

La Liga authorities have sent a report to the Anti-Violence Commission denouncing racist chants directed at Iñaki Williams during Sporting Gijon’s 2-1 victory over Athletic Club Bilbao. The commission will now decide whether the incident was severe enough to warrant closing stands at the Molinon or fining the Asturian side.

Referee Clos Gomez was forced to stop the opening game of the season early in the first half after sections of the crowd made racist chants at the 22-year-old Spaniard. The official wrote in his report: “At 22 minutes the game was stopped for one minute due to one stand of the stadium imitating monkey sounds directed at player number 11, Inaki Williams Arthur.”

Sporting Gijon made a public announcement during the game urging fans to stop chants, and released a follow-up statement after the game condemning the incident.

“Real Sporting Gijon condemn any act of racism, xenophobia or violent behaviour in sport, obeying scrupulously with the sport’s laws and regulations,” the club said, as well as posting a video with captain Ivan Cuellar and four of their foreign players asking the fans to stop the racism.

La Liga has welcomed the club’s condemnation of what is undoubtedly an embarrassing episode for Spanish football, but has made an official statement regarding their referral of the incident to the Anti-Violence Commission.

“Under the rules of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, La Liga will send a letter to the Anti-violence Commission denouncing the chanting of songs that incite violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport, these being actions contrary to the legal system foreseen in the RFEF Disciplinary Code. This same letter of complaint will be transferred to the Competition Committee,” La Liga has confirmed.

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