Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
This Argentine footballer has apologised “to the Jewish community” for making these gestures seemingly mimicking circumcision and a kippah while being sent off against a historically Jewish team.
Argentine footballer Arnaldo “El Pitu” Gonzalez, 30, made the controversial gestures during his side CA Nueva Chicago’s 2-0 loss to CA Atlanta in the Nacional Primera B, the Argentine second tier.
The images show the Nueva Chicago midfielder making gestures at his penis referring to circumcision.
Gonzalez is also seen placing his hand on his head referring to a kippah, a brimless cap which is normally made of cloth and is traditionally worn by Jewish men.
The midfielder was sent off in the 69th minute of the match after a confrontation with a rival player.
Local media report Atlanta has historical ties with the Jewish community in the Argentine capital city of Buenos Aires.
Head of the National Institute Against Discrimination Xenophobia and Racism (inadi) Victoria Donda Perez released a statement shortly after the incident.
The statement read: “As a fan of Chicago I am ashamed of the anti-Semitic gestures of player Arnaldo Gonzalez after he was sent off and we at @inadi will study the corresponding measures.”
Nueva Chicago also issued a statement saying: “From Athletic Club Nueva Chicago we reject the gestures made by player Arnaldo Gonzalez and will evaluate the disciplinary measures to take.
“We apologise to all the fans of @atlantaoficial and to the entire Jewish community.”
Gonzalez himself issued a public apology which was shared by his club’s social media page and was captioned “The words of Arnaldo “El Pitu” Gonzalez”.
He said: “I would like to apologise to the people of Atlanta and to the Jewish community for what happened this afternoon.
“I have just seen the video and the truth is I am very ashamed. I am not like that, I have never reacted that way anywhere. It was in a heated moment.
“I was just sent off and received some insults and I reacted in a way that I should not have. I hope you know how to accept my apology and I make it public for the people of Atlanta, the Jewish community and the people of (Nueva) Chicago.”
Nueva Chicago midfielder Facundo Mater, 21, also received a direct red card for elbowing Atlanta centre-forward Luis Lopez, 32 before Atlanta midfielder Nicolas Previtali, 24, was given his marching orders in the 72nd minute.
Atlanta won the Primera B Nacional match 2-0 with both of their goals coming after the trio of red cards and Nueva Chicago sit bottom of the table with 15 points.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.