LaLiga: League president Javier Tebas condemns racist chants aimed at Athletic Bilbao's Iñaki Williams, fan street clashes

Williams said after the 1-1 draw that “I suffered racist insults, something that no one wants to hear and has no place here.'

The Associated Press January 25, 2020 23:48:11 IST
LaLiga: League president Javier Tebas condemns racist chants aimed at Athletic Bilbao's Iñaki Williams, fan street clashes
  • Athletic Bilbao's Inaki Williams, who is black, played 82 minutes of the match against Espanyol before being substituted.

  • TV broadcaster Movistar showed Williams confronting a section of Espanyol fans who were taunting him with monkey chants.

  • “I suffered racist insults, something that no one wants to hear and has no place here," Williams said after the 1-1 draw.

Barcelona: Spanish football was marred by a player being racially abused during a league game on Saturday, along with street clashes between rival fans outside stadiums before two matches.

The league president said the incidents had done "serious damage to Spanish football."

LaLiga League president Javier Tebas condemns racist chants aimed at Athletic Bilbaos Iaki Williams fan street clashes

File image of Inaki Williams of Athletic Club. Getty Images

Athletic Bilbao forward Iñaki Williams said that he was a victim of racial abuse from fans while playing at Espanyol in the city of Barcelona.

"I suffered racist insults, something that no one wants to hear and has no place here," Williams said after the 1-1 draw.

Williams, who is black, played 82 minutes of the match before being substituted.

TV broadcaster Movistar showed Williams confronting a section of Espanyol fans who were taunting him with monkey chants while a Bilbao teammate was taking a corner kick.

"People should come to enjoy themselves, to help their team. This is a sport about friendship," Williams said.

Espanyol condemned the incident and said it is working to identify the fans involved.

"Espanyol strongly condemns any expressions of racism in a football stadium," the club said. "The club is investigating the racist incident produced by a few fans against Iñaki Williams."

Williams did not say if he had reported the incident to the referee, whose report did not mention the racist chants.

Ultra fan groups clashed in the street before the match at Espanyol on Saturday and also outside Valencia's stadium before a game against Barcelona.

Video on social media showed groups of men tossing tables from bars and exchanging blows during both incidents.

"Today we have taken a step back in the work that we began years ago," Spanish league president Javier Tebas tweeted. "The violent incidents in Barcelona and Valencia (and) the racist insults against Iñaki Williams do serious damage to Spanish football. La Liga assumes responsibility and will look along with the clubs to find what we did wrong."

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

LaLiga: Lionel Messi's brace leads Barcelona to thumping Alaves win; Atletico Madrid beat Granada
Sports

LaLiga: Lionel Messi's brace leads Barcelona to thumping Alaves win; Atletico Madrid beat Granada

Atletico Madrid's win was a significant psychological boost on the back of slipping up for the first time in nine games at home to Celta Vigo earlier this week.

LaLiga: Sevilla sporting director Monchi reveals his methods, discusses scouting department and success
Sports

LaLiga: Sevilla sporting director Monchi reveals his methods, discusses scouting department and success

Sevilla's sporting director Monchi has been in the role since 2001 and has overseen remarkable success at the LaLiga club. His policy remains, "never worry about selling players".

LaLiga: Lionel Messi brace leads Barcelona to 3-0 win over Elche; move back to third place
Sports

LaLiga: Lionel Messi brace leads Barcelona to 3-0 win over Elche; move back to third place

Messi reached 18 league goals with his double, moving two ahead of Atlético Madrid's Luis Suárez — his former Barcelona teammate — at the top of the scoring list.