Valencia vs Cadiz: La Liga game suspended over alleged racist abuse incident


The alleged incident took place around the 30th minute when Valencia defender Mouctar Diakhaby clashed with Juan Cala de Cadiz, according to the referee’s report.

In a video of the match, Diakhaby appears to be angry after their exchange and followed Cala onto the pitch, where he was ultimately held up by some of his teammates and opposition players.

As Diakhaby was whisked away, Cala could be seen covering her mouth with her hand as he spoke to his coach on the sideline.

After a chat with teammate Gabriel Paulista and the match referee, Diakhaby led the rest of his Valencia teammates out of the pitch and into the tunnel.

In a tweet immediately after the incident, Valencia said he was offering his “full support” to Diakhaby.

“The player, who had received a racial insult, asked his teammates to return to the field,” he wrote. “WE SUPPORT YOU MOUCTAR.”

Valencia eventually returned to the pitch to continue the game, but in a post-game statement he said he had only done so under “threat” of punishment.

Valencia captain José Gayà said the team had been told they would suffer a points deduction if they did not continue with the game, a sanction which could be imposed by La Liga.

“The Club did not ask the players to return to the pitch,” Valencia wrote. “The referee informed the players of the consequences of not returning to the pitch. The players, forced to play under penalty of a penalty after the racist slurs and the yellow card to Diakhaby, decided to return to the pitch.

“Today’s events should never be repeated on a football pitch again. Valencia CF strongly oppose racism in all its forms and stand by Diakhaby’s side. Today is a sad day for our sport.

“Today was not a loss in a game. It was a loss of respect, a loss of the spirit of football and sport.”

Diakhaby was substituted and did not return to the pitch, while Cala returned but was eventually substituted at half-time.

CNN has contacted Cala and the player will make a statement to the media on Tuesday, Cadiz said.

Speaking to Spanish media Cuatro as he walked into the club complex on Monday, Cala said: “The presumption of innocence does not appear in this country, apparently. Don’t worry, I won’t go. hide. I will say it. [what happened]. “
The Valencia team is united in training on Monday.

The referee’s match report says Diakhaby told the referee that Cala called him a “sh * tty black”, but that the alleged incident “was not perceived by any member of the team. arbitration “.

However, the report makes no mention of the return of the Valencia players.

In a statement after the match, Cadiz said it was “against all forms of racism or xenophobia, whoever is responsible, and is working hard to help eradicate it”.

“Anyone guilty of such an offense, whether or not they belong to our team, must be punished,” he wrote.

“We have complete confidence in the integrity of our team members, who are strong supporters of the fight against racism and who have always displayed an exemplary attitude in every game the team has played.

“The club cannot comment on incidents that arise between players during the game, and always demand respect and responsibility from its players in their attitude towards opponents.”

Talk to Spanish TV show El ChiringuitoLa Liga president Javier Tebas said: “We are analyzing the footage to find out what happened. Something happened because the Valencia player felt very angry.”

“La Liga condemns racism in all its forms and forms and has been an active party in the persecution of hate crimes in Spain,” La Liga told CNN in a statement.

“We take any allegation of racism seriously and will work with clubs and refereeing bodies to do whatever is necessary to protect the values ​​of equality and respect that prevail in our Spanish professional football competition.”

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNN.

Speaking after the game, Valencia captain Gayà said the team had no choice but to keep playing.

“I was far from the incident. Diakhaby looked very angry and animated, and he told us that he had received a racist insult,” he said. “That’s why we left the pitch. It’s sad that these kinds of things are still happening in football, and a solution has to be put in place.

“We supported him at all times. We did as he told us; he wanted us to go back. We went out because he told us, and also because if we didn’t. not done, we would have been deducted from the points. That’s what we were told inside the locker room, and we had no choice but to come out. “

The game was tied 1-1 at the time of the incident, after Kevin Gameiro equalized for Valencia after Cala’s opening goal.

Cadiz eventually won the game 2-1 thanks to Marcos Mauro’s 87th-minute goal.

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