Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
La Liga are set to “partially close a stand” at Espanyol’s stadium where Athletic Bilbao star Inaki Williams was racially abused this weekend as they accept their current measures “must be improved”.
The incident took place during Athletic Bilbao’s 1-1 draw with Espanyol on Saturday 25th January in which Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Willams, 25, was the target of racist insults at the Cornella-El Prat Stadium, Espanyol’s home ground.
In a post-match interview, the former Manchester United target said: “I am leaving here a little sad because of the draw and especially because I suffered racist insults.
“It is something no black player or a player of any race wants to hear. It is completely out of place. People should come to enjoy and support their clubs.
“Enjoy football which a sport of friendship and teamwork so it is a bit of a sad day because these kinds of incidents should not occur and are out of place.”
La Liga released a statement yesterday (Sunday) saying it “manifests its total rejection and its deepest concerns with respect to the incidents”.
They went on to say they are “conscious that the measures adopted some years ago must be improved” as considering “the events that took place” during Saturday’s match, “are not enough”.
The statement also revealed La Liga plan on reporting the incidents to Spanish football governing body the Royal Federation of Spanish Football (RFEF) asking for a partial closure of the stand where the racist chants were heard. It is unclear how long the partial closure would last.
They have also “started the procedure of identifying the fans that made the insults against Inaki Williams with the aim to start legal action for a hate crime.”
Television programme ‘Los Otros: Futbol y Racismo’ broadcast by Spanish channel ‘Vamos’ recently interviewed former Espanyol star Carlos Kameni, 35, who revealed how he felt during a racist incident in a La Liga match against Real Zaragoza.
He said: “When a person goes through something like that. They could go home and commit suicide. I could not understand how this could happen in a country like this.
“Nobody can understand what I was feeling at that moment in the slightest. I am there to play, we are there to play and do our job.”
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