Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Moussa Marega has spoken against the racist chants he was subjected to by almost an “entire stadium” and says it was “really a big humiliation”.
The incident took place on Sunday 16th February when Malian forward Moussa Marega (who also has French and Congolese nationality) left the pitch during the 69th minute during Porto’s match against Vitoria de Guimaraes (2-1) in the Primeira Liga after being the subject of racist insults from the stands.
According to reports, “monkey chants” were clearly audible throughout the match.
After Marega scored a goal and pointed to his skin, spectators threw seats at him.
Speaking to the RMC radio station on Monday, Marega added that it was “sad that it happens in 2020” but that after going home, “seeing my son made me smile again.”
Marega told RMC: “It started during warm up, it was just two or three people, it must happen to everyone, we don’t care, we can keep playing”
He added: “But when it comes from almost the whole stadium, it is not possible to continue playing when people make fun of one’s skin colour.”
He also said: “It’s sad that this happens in 2020.”
Speaking about how it had affected him, Marega said: “I am feeling better now (Monday) but yesterday (Sunday) it was much more difficult, I really felt like sh*t. It was a big humiliation for me. After the match was over, I went home. Seeing my son made me smile, as did all the supportive messages I received.”
When asked what he thinks should be done about such situations in the future, Marega said: “We would like everyone to stop the matches. We need a strong gesture from the referees, from the league. Anti-racist slogans are stupid, you just gather teams in a photo that you share on social networks.”
While spectators chanted racist insults at him, Marega, 28, scored a goal in the 60th minute and celebrated by pointing at his skin.
After suffering a racist abuse from spectators in the stands, Marega left the pitch, flipping the crowd a double middle finger as he went. His teammates had tried to calm him down but he pushed them away, visibly affected by the abuse. Players from the other team also tried to get him to stay.
The match ended in a 2-1 victory for Porto, with the other goal being scored by Douglas Renato de Jesus in the 10th minute and Vitoria SC’s Bruno Duarte scoring his sides only goal in the 49th minute.
Portuguese police have stated they are investigating the racist abuse.
Porto manager Sergio Conceicao refused to discuss his team’s 2-1 victory after the match and instead talked about the racism Marega was subjected to and which he said had begun during the warm-up.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa also voiced his support for the forward on Twitter, saying: “Complete solidarity with Marega, who on the pitch proved not only to be a great player, but also a great citizen.”
After the match, Marega posted a message on Instagram saying “I would just like to say to those idiots who come to the stadium to make racist chants to go f*ck themselves. And I also thank the referees for not defending me and for giving me a yellow card because I defended my skin colour. I hope I never meet you on a football pitch again. SHAME ON YOU!”
At the time of writing, that post has 1.2 million likes.
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