La Liga 2023-24: Getafe-Sevilla game marred by racist slurs against Marcos Acuna and coach Sanchez Flores

Referee Javier Iglesias Villanueva wrote in his report fans yelled “Acuna monkey” and “Acuna, you come from monkeys” at the Argentina international, leading him to briefly pause the match.

Published : Mar 30, 2024 23:09 IST , BARCELONA - 2 MINS READ

Marcos Acuna of Sevilla FC.
Marcos Acuna of Sevilla FC. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Marcos Acuna of Sevilla FC. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Getafe’s home game against Sevilla was paused when fans targeted Sevilla’s Marcos Acuña with racial insults in the Spanish league. Sevilla coach Quique Sánchez Flores said he also was abused racially by supporters of his former club.

Referee Javier Iglesias halted the game in the 68th minute when Acuña, a world champion with Argentina, was insulted by fans, including calling him a “monkey,” according to the match report.

The game was restarted after the spectators were informed by loudspeaker to refrain from racist or xenophobic language. Iglesias did not record any more incidents.

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But Sánchez Flores confirmed after the match his Roma heritage was insulted. Sánchez Flores has coached Getafe on three occasions.

“I am proud of every pore in my body that breathes Roma, but one thing is to be Roma and another is to be insulted for it,” Sánchez Flores said. “There are some fans who think they can say anything they want at a stadium. It is happening in every stadium.

“We are workers who come here to work in peace and be respected. It is an aberration that in these times when we are advancing in so many ways that (these individuals) grab us and pull us backwards.” Sevilla, which beat Getafe 1-0, denounced the insults to its player and coach.

A third-division game between Sestao River and Rayo Majadahonda was also suspended in the final minutes after the goalkeeper of the visiting side was sent off after he confronted a fan who allegedly racially insulted him.

Rayo goalie Cheikh Sarr, who is Black, was issued a red card after he approached the stands behind his net.

His club said on Twitter it would not continue the game “after the unacceptable racist insults toward our player.” The incidents came four days after Spain played Brazil in Madrid in a friendly that was set up to highlight the fight against racism after insults aimed at Real Madrid and Brazil forward Vinícius Júnior.

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Vinícius posted a message on his X account showing his support for Acuña, Sánchez Flores and Sarr.

“We had three despicable cases of racism in Spain this Saturday,” he wrote. “The racists should be expelled and games should not continue with them in the stands. We will only achieve victory when these racists are taken out of the stadiums and straight into prison, the place where they belong.” Vinícius has been highly critical of the inability of soccer authorities to take effective action to protect him and other players.

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