Fans hurl racist slurs at Black soccer player in Spain

Spanish soccer has been marred by racism this season

MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid defender Antonio Rüdiger was racially abused by fans after the team’s game at Cadiz in the Spanish league on Saturday.

Video posted by Spanish media on Sunday showed Cadiz fans yelling insults at Rüdiger after he went to the stands to give away his shirt to someone who appeared to be a Madrid supporter. Objects were also thrown at the German defender, who is Black.

Real Madrid’s Antonio Rudiger, right, and Cadiz’s Chris Ramos challenge for the ball during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Cadiz CF and Real Madrid at the Nuevo Mirandilla stadium in Cadiz, Spain, Saturday, April 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Breton)

Rüdiger exchanged a few words with some of the fans yelling at him before giving his shirt away and saluting some of the supporters. Two people who appeared to be members of Madrid’s staff came over to lead the player away from the fans.

The incident happened after Madrid’s 2-0 win against relegation-threatened Cadiz.

Spanish soccer has been marred by racism this season, with Rüdiger’s teammate Vinícius Júnior having been targeted during several matches. Earlier this month, the Brazilian forward testified against a Mallorca fan who was accused of calling him a monkey during a match. The same fan was also accused of insulting Villarreal midfielder Samu Chukwueze in another league match.

The Spanish league has filed several formal complaints to authorities over insults against Vinícius, with some of them having already being shelved. The league also recently increased the number of monitors at Madrid matches to identify perpetrators.

Valladolid recently suspended 12 season-ticket holders while investigating alleged verbal abuse of Vinícius.

The first trial against a fan who racially abused a player in Spain is expected to begin this year following remarks by an Espanyol supporter against Athletic Bilbao forward Iñaki Williams a few years ago.

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