Mali international and FC Porto striker, Moussa Marega, had a night to forget during his side’s Sunday match against his former club, Vitoria Guimaraes, in Portugal‘s top league.
The 28-year-old forward was allegedly subjected to monkey chants by a section of fans from the home team the entire time he was on the pitch, with the abuse even starting when the team was warming up before kickoff.
A resilient professional, Marega turned a deaf ear to the racist abuse and eventually scored Porto’s winning goal in the 60th minute. The striker, while celebrating his goal, responded to the abuse by pointing to his skin to the section of fans who were abusing him. He, however, received a yellow card for that and a chair was thrown at him during the celebrations, Goal.com reports.
Unable to stand the abuse, Marega attempted leaving the pitch and flagged the bench to substitute him in the 69th minute. He was, however, restrained from walking off the pitch by his teammates, opposition players and his coach. With the abuse still continuing despite his protests, he was eventually substituted in the 72nd minute.
After the game, the striker took to his Instagram to call out the fans who abused him as well as the match officials for doing nothing about the incident in a no-holds-barred post.
“I would just like to tell these idiots who come to the stadium to make racist chants go f*ck yourself,” he started.
“And I also thank the referees for not defending me and for giving me a yellow card because I defend my skin colour. I hope I never see you on a football field again. You are a disgrace!” he added.
Porto coach, Sergio Conceicao, also condemned the incident.
“We are completely indignant,” he told reporters, according to Al Jazeera.
“They insulted Marega since the warm-up. We are all a family here, regardless of our nationality, skin colour, height or the colour of our hair and we all deserve respect. What happened here is outrageous.”
“I know the fans here are very passionate about their club and many fans are not represented by some of the people who were in the crowd today.”
Liga Portugal, the league’s governing body and Vitoria Guimaraes also released separate statements condemning the abuse and promised to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to book.
Racial discrimination against black players in Europe’s top leagues has long been an issue with players. Anti-discrimination bodies have accused the governing bodies of the various leagues of not doing enough to protect players.