Diakhaby was subjected to an 'extremely serious racial insult', claims Valencia president

By Sports Desk April 05, 2021

Valencia president Anil Murthy has called on LaLiga to do more in the fight against racism after Mouctar Diakhaby was subjected to what he described as an "extremely serious racial insult" against Cadiz.

The top-flight meeting on Sunday – which finished 2-1 to Cadiz – was stopped for 20 minutes after Valencia's players left the field following an altercation between Diakhaby and Cadiz defender Juan Cala.

Valencia's players subsequently walked off the pitch, before returning to the field without Diakhaby, who asked to be taken off.

After the match had restarted, Valencia tweeted their version of events, stating Diakhaby had suffered a "racist insult".

Cadiz issued a statement following the game, insisting any form of racism was not tolerated.

They also added they had no doubts over the honesty of their squad, with Cala having been picked up by television cameras pleading his innocence during the game.

Cadiz coach Alvaro Cervera said: "I saw the same as you did. They left the field alongside the referee because they said that Cala had insulted one of their players.

"Cala says that at no point did he insult the opposition player."

Cadiz confirmed on Monday that Cala would address the media on the subject after training on Tuesday. 

Speaking alongside Diakhaby in a video posted on Valencia's official website, Murthy said: "Yesterday, in our game against Cadiz, we witnessed a flagrant incident of racism. 

"There is no other way to describe it. Our player, Mouctar Diakhaby, was the recipient of an extremely serious racial insult by Juan Cala.

"Although Cala may deny it, we believe Mouctar completely. This type of behaviour should not be tolerated in football and in society in general, and we at Valencia condemn racism in any form. We fully support our player.

"There should be no doubt that Valencia will defend Mouctar Diakhaby to the fullest, and fight to ensure that such lamentable events are not repeated."

Valencia captain Jose Luis Gaya said the team had been told they would be penalised if they did not return to finish the game – a claim backed up by head coach Javi Gracia.

Murthy described Sunday's incident as a "step back in the fight against racism" and has demanded LaLiga change the rules to better protect those who suffer racist abuse.

"We spoke with LaLiga this morning to encourage them to also see their investigation through to the end," he added. "This incident cannot be left behind, and cannot be repeated with any other player for any other team.

"We are saddened that, following the incident, there was no reaction to stop the game, and that it was our players who were the ones to leave the field of play. There cannot be a lack of action in light of these types of situations.

"From now on, we would like to see some kind of reaction to change these protocols, in order to protect those who are vulnerable. If we don't change this, then it will give a bad example to everybody.

"We are proud of the reaction from our team, and we still do not understand why Diakhaby, the recipient of this racial insult, received a yellow card.

"We also do not understand why the players had to return to the pitch due to the regulations not protecting the victims and the team in such cases.

"This must change. Changes have been made in other leagues, and now the same must be done in Spain. 

"We cannot turn a blind eye to something as serious as racism. It is time for a change, and Valencia will go all the way in our support of our player and the fight against racism. A step back in the fight against racism was taken yesterday."

Related items

  • 'Frenkie is not just any player' - Kluivert hopes Barcelona retain De Jong 'Frenkie is not just any player' - Kluivert hopes Barcelona retain De Jong

    Patrick Kluivert hopes Barcelona will retain his compatriot Frenkie de Jong, amid reported interest from Manchester United.

    Despite his own reported intentions to stay in LaLiga, De Jong has been linked to a reunion with Erik ten Hag - his former boss at Ajax – with Barcelona attempting to break even on an €85million package.

    The 25-year-old has struggled to find a role that best suits him since arriving at Camp Nou in 2019, with Sergio Busquets still starting as Barcelona's deepest midfielder.

    Kluivert believes De Jong would flourish in Busquets' role but it would be hard to supplant the veteran, but despite this and Barcelona's recent financial troubles, they should try to keep him.

    "I hope that they will keep him," Kluivert told Cadena Ser. "If they sell him it is clear that the club would receive a lot of money, but it is a long season and Frenkie is not just any player. I wouldn't sell him.

    "Busquets is there, who has had an impressive year and it is difficult to remove him but Frenkie can play in various positions. For me, the best is the 6, but Busi's there."

    The 45-year-old scored 91 times in 192 LaLiga appearances for Barcelona, while he remains an ambassador for the club and his son Shane plays in the youth setup.

    Kluivert added that with the likes of Ansu Fati, Pedri and Gavi, Barcelona's future can be bright under Xavi, who he believes needs time after replacing Ronald Koeman during last season.

    "They are fantastic, I know them very well, they have grown up in the club and they know the values," he said. "Ansu is a pity, for injuries this year but he scores important goals for the club. If he is at 100 per cent we are going to enjoy him at Barça. Pedri has not grown in the club but he is a player of another level.

    "Xavi, he is the ideal, but you have to give him a little time. Entering how he has entered in a difficult situation, he did very well.

    "I don't know if they were fair to Koeman, but they are situations that happen, and I don't know everything that happened, I can't comment. I didn't speak to Koeman when he came out."

  • Ronald Koeman: Barcelona cannot 'live in the past' Ronald Koeman: Barcelona cannot 'live in the past'

    While criticising Joan Laporta's management, Ronald Koeman has claimed Barcelona are caught up in their own history as football evolves beyond their identity on the pitch.

    The former Barcelona head coach claims Laporta placed unnecessary pressure on him before his dismissal in October last year.

    Xavi taking over from the 59-year-old formed part of a narrative that the financially embattled club would return to their roots both on and off the pitch, as part of Laporta's second stint as club president.

    In an interview with Esport3, Koeman suggested such a sentiment is ultimately impractical and ignorant of football's evolution, while defending his own tactical choices in charge of the Blaugrana.

    "I am in favour of dominating the game," he said. "If you play with three central defenders, you cannot say that it is a defensive system. With this system for three or four months, we played the best games in recent years.

    "The clearest example was the [2021 Copa del Rey] final against Athletic. Barcelona lives in the past, from 4-3-3, to Tiki-taka. Football has changed. Now it's faster, more physical.

    "You can't live in the past. If you have Xavi, Iniesta... and Messi, who by the way, they took from me. This was a very hard one to take."

    Koeman also hinted to the weight lifted off his shoulders after his dismissal, especially within the context of leaving the Netherlands national team to take Barcelona over during a period of significant financial and political upheaval at the club.

    Laporta was elected as Barcelona president three months after Koeman's replacement of Quique Setien in 2020.

    Set to take over the Netherlands from Louis van Gaal after this year's World Cup, Koeman insists life has become less complicated since leaving, but harbours no regrets about his return to the club he won a Champions League with as a player.

    "Leaving was a bit of a liberation," he said. "It was a difficult time for the club, without a president, with Laporta's doubts about the coach.

    "You want to be a coach and you know that if you don't win you have problems. I made an effort, I left the national team and if it happened again, I would do it again. I don't regret it.

    "As president, you can always have doubts but if you say them to the public, everyone doubts. It was a big mistake on his part."

  • Barcelona considering legal action as Roma pull out of Joan Gamper Trophy match Barcelona considering legal action as Roma pull out of Joan Gamper Trophy match

    Barcelona are studying the possibility of taking legal action against Roma after the Italian club announced they will no longer take part in the Joan Gamper Trophy. 

    The two clubs were set to meet at Camp Nou on August 6, with their respective women's sides also facing off, in a fixture that acts as an annual curtain-raiser for Barca's season.

    However, just 12 days after the friendly was announced, Roma confirmed on Monday that they have withdrawn from the match.

    Roma said in a statement the decision was taken as a result of modifying their pre-season plans to best suit both their men's and women's sides.

    In a strong statement of their own released shortly thereafter, Barcelona hit out at the Europa Conference League winners, who are managed by their former coach Jose Mourinho.

    "Roma have decided to unilaterally, without reason, withdraw from the agreed contract for both parties for the Joan Gamper Trophy," the statement read.

    "The club is working on a finding a new opponent for this year's edition. In the next 24 hours the return of money already spent on tickets will begin.

    "The club wants to make it clear that the suspension of the games has been due to circumstances outside the control of FC Barcelona, the express wish of AS Roma. 

    "The club's legal department is studying possible action against the Italian club for damages caused to Barcelona and its fans due to this unexpected and unjustified decision."

    Barcelona are scheduled to face UE Olot, Inter Miami, Real Madrid, Juventus, New York Red Bulls and Manchester City ahead of the start of the 2022-23 LaLiga season.

     

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.