21st February 2020

Porto’s Moussa Marega subjected to racist abuse

Another weekend and another footballer has been subjected to racist abuse from opposition fans
Porto’s Moussa Marega subjected to racist abuse
Moussa Marega. Photo: Антон Зайцев @WikimediaCommons

Porto’s 2-1 victory against Vitoria Guimaraes last weekend was marred by yet another instance of racist abuse, with Porto’s Moussa Marega the target of the Vitoria fans. 

Marega had suffered racial abuse from the home fans since the beginning of the game, but following his goal in the 60th minute, which turned out to be the winning goal for Porto, fans were heard making monkey noises and were seen throwing stadium seats towards the pitch.

Marega celebrated the goal by gesturing to his arms, assumedly as a way to emphasise his skin colour, but just nine minutes later Marega attempted to walk off the pitch as a result of the abuse he was receiving. 

The 28-year-old was restrained by teammates who were attempting to keep the Frenchman on the field. Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao also pleaded with Marega as he attempted to walk down the tunnel but Conceicao eventually relented and allowed him to leave the field, substituting him with Wilson Manafa. 

Marega was then seen making a ‘thumbs down’ gesture towards the crowd as he went down the tunnel. 

Marega later wrote on Instagram: “I would just like to tell these idiots who come to the stadium to make racist chants, go f*** yourself. I hope I never see you on a football field again. You are a disgrace!”

He added sarcastically: “And I also thank the referees for not defending me and for giving me a yellow card because I defend my skin colour.”

After the game Conceicao spoke about the incident, saying: “We are a family regardless of nationality, skin colour, hair colour. We are human, we deserve respect. What happened here is unfortunate.”

Portugal football’s governing body, Liga Portugal, condemned the actions of the Vitoria fans in a statement on their website. 

“Liga Portugal does not agree and never will with acts of racism, xenophobia or intolerance that jeopardise the dignity of footballers or any human beings.

“Liga Portugal will do everything to ensure that this episode and all other racist incidents do not go unpunished.”

Vitoria said in a statement: “We will investigate what happened during the game played at Estadio D Afonso Henriques, acting firmly and thoroughly in full co-operation with the competent authorities.”

The incident in Portugal follows the news that a 17-year-old Bournemouth fan has been banned from football for three years after pleading guilty to chanting racist abuse at a match versus Tottenham last November. A 12-year old Celtic fan has also been charged in relation to alleged racist chants occurring at a match in December. 

Off the field, this past weekend also saw former Derby player Craig Ramage come under scrutiny following his comments on BBC Radio Radio Derby Sportscene after Derby’s 1-1 draw against Huddersfield. 

Ramage said: “When I look at certain players, their body language, their stance, the way they act, you just feel, hold on a minute, he needs pulling down a peg or two.

“So I’d probably say that about all the young black lads, all the young advice if they wanted it, that, you know, it’s about, when you are struggling for form, you are going through a sticky patch, it’s about going back to basics, working hard, and doing the right things.”

The pundit released an apology following the broadcast but the BBC condemned the remarks and announced they were cutting ties with Ramage. 

A BBC spokesperson said: “These were entirely unacceptable comments and we will no longer be working with Craig.”

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