Brazilian football club Santos said Thursday that two of its players were racially abused by fans during the team’s 2-1 loss to Audax Italiano in a Copa Sudamericana match at the Chilean team’s stadium.
Santos said in a statement that defender Joaquim and striker Ângelo, who are Black, “were verbally abused” and harassed by local fans “making monkey gestures” during a group-stage match Wednesday night in the city of Rancagua.
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The Brazilian club said it had brought its complaints to the South American football body CONMEBOL, which has opened a case on the issue.
Another racist incident at a Copa Sudamericana match took place Tuesday night in Argentina during the game between Colombia’s Independiente Santa Fé and local team Gimnasia la Plata.
Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega, who is Black, said he faced racial insults from local fans.
“We are not improving as mankind, this is a disaster all over the world. It is very sad to come here and this happens," Rodallega told the official broadcaster after his team’s 1-0 defeat. “We didn’t lose the match because of those people, but this issue of racism tires us."
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The unfortunate incident occurs just days after Brazilian star forward Vinicius Junior was racially abused by a group of Valencia supporters at the Mestalla Stadium during the team’s game against Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Vinicius has been subjected to numerous instances of such abuse this season with nine different complaints being filed with the La Liga.
The pacy winger garnered support from across fields and spectrums as he decided to take up the fight against the rampant racist issue in Spain as Brazil president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva voiced his support of the player at a presser at the end of the G7 summit earlier this week.
Footballers from across the globe, both active and retired, expressed their support for the 22-year-old as they set him messages of solidarity.
The famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio also turned off its lights temporarily to express its support for the star Brazilian. Seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton also jumped to the defence of the Brazilian and commended the youngster for his brave attempt at taking on the sensitive issue.
(With inputs from AP)