One of Serbia’s top football clubs, Partizan Belgrade, has condemned racist chanting during a match that reduced one of its players, Brazilian midfielder Everton Luiz, to tears.
He suffered monkey chants and other abuse from fans of rivals Rad Belgrade.
“I couldn’t hold back the tears because I was racially insulted from the stands for 90 minutes,” Everton, 28, said.
A Partizan statement backing him said, “We strongly condemn the perpetrators of this insane act.”
At the end of the match, Everton made a crude gesture at the Rad Belgrade fans, prompting some Rad players to confront him. A brawl broke out, but staff from both sides managed to separate the players.
Rad supporters also brandished a banner insulting Everton. Rad, playing at home, lost 0-1 to Partizan.
“What shocked me above all was the attitude of the other team,” Everton said Sunday. “Instead of trying to defuse the situation, they supported that type of behavior. I want to forget about it all as quickly as possible.”
Partizan coach Marko Nikolic, quoted by Reuters news agency, said the club was likely to discipline Everton, but he also called for the Rad fans to be punished.
Everton moved to Europe in 2013 and played for Swiss teams before joining Partizan early last year. In 2012, Serbian fans chanted racist abuse at Black England players during an Under-21 international match. Players were then involved in scuffles on the pitch and European football body UEFA charged both the Serbian and England football associations for the ugly scenes.
UEFA has banned Partizan from European competitions for three seasons because of unpaid debts. Hooliganism has repeatedly marred matches between Partizan and its big Belgrade rival Red Star.
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