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Valencia Players Walk Off Pitch In Support Of Mouctar Diakhaby After Alleged Racial Abuse

Alex Reid

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Valencia Players Walk Off Pitch In Support Of Mouctar Diakhaby After Alleged Racial Abuse

Valencia's players walked off the pitch in the first half of their La Liga game against Cadiz on Sunday after Mouctar Diakhaby was allegedly racially abused.

French defender Diakhaby had a slight coming together with Juan Cala as a cross came into the box, but Diakhaby was then visibly upset as the confrontation continued with the two exchanging words.

Diakhaby could be seen explaining what happened to the referee - before the Valencia players chose to walk off the pitch, down the tunnel and return to their dressing room with half an hour played and the game at 1-1.

The Valencia players had a meeting and decided to return and continue the game, reportedly with Diakhaby's encouragement.

Though Diakhaby himself did not return, as he was substituted for Hugo Guillamon - with many on social media pointing out that it was unfair that the victim of the apparent abuse was removed from the game, while the (alleged) perpetrator continued on the pitch.

Valencia tweeted an explanation: "The team have held a meeting and decided to continue the game, in order to fight for the honour of the club, but denounce racism of any kind."

The club later followed that up with another statement: "We offer our complete backing to Mouctar Diakhaby.

"The player, who had received a racial insult, requested that his teammates return to the pitch. We support you Mouctar. No to racism."

The delayed game then continued after a five-minute warm-up - although Cadiz defender Cala was himself substituted at the start of the second half. It ended in a 2-1 victory for Cadiz.

Football seems to have once again found itself at the centre of another, depressing and upsetting racism storm after the alleged abuse of Rangers' Glen Kamara against Slavia Prague, among many other incidents.

However many on Twitter - and Rio Ferdinand on BT Sport - were quick to praise the Valencia players for taking a stand straight away and removing themselves from the pitch.

Football authorities in European club football and across the world have been criticised for not doing enough to punish or prevent racist abuse on the pitch.

Featured image credit: Premier Sports

Topics: valencia, La Liga

Alex Reid
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