Getafe's stadium partially closed for 3 games as punishment for fans' racist insults

Wed, Apr 3, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Getafe's stadium partially closed for 3 games as punishment for fans' racist insults

MADRID (AP) - Getafe will play the next three home games with part of its stadium closed as punishment for fans racially insulting an opposition player and coach in a Spanish league match at the weekend.

The Spanish soccer federation's disciplinary committee said Wednesday that it had also fined the southern Madrid club 27,000 euros ($29,100).

The punishment came after Saturday's top-tier match against Sevilla had to be briefly paused because of racial slurs targeting Sevilla defender Marcos Acuna and Sevilla coach Quique Sanchez Flores.

The stadium sections from where the insults came will be closed for league matches against Real Sociedad, Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid. Fans who have season tickets in those sections will not be allowed to relocate to another area of the Coliseum Stadium.

There has been a wave of racist abuse against players at soccer matches in Spain recently, especially aimed at Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior. The Brazil international, who is Black, was also regularly targeted last season.

Last week, Spain played Brazil to a 3-3 draw at Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in a friendly that was set up to highlight the fight against racism after the abuse aimed at Vinicius last season.

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Vinicius has been highly critical of the inability of soccer authorities to take effective action to protect him and other players.

Also Saturday, a third-division game in Spain between Sestao River and Rayo Majadahonda was suspended in the final minutes after the goalkeeper of the visiting side was sent off after he confronted a fan who allegedly racially insulted him.

Rayo goalkeeper Cheikh Sarr, who is Black, was given a red card after he approached the stands behind his net. He said Tuesday he couldn't take the abuse, and that he had never had to go through something like that in soccer before.

The match between Getafe and Sevilla was stopped in the 68th when Acuna, a world champion with Argentina, was insulted by fans, which including calling him a "monkey" according to the match report.

The game was restarted after spectators were warned to refrain from racist or xenophobic language.

Sanchez Flores, who coached Getafe on three occasions, said after the match that his Roma heritage was insulted.

Sevilla won 1-0.

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TALES AZZONI Azzoni is a sports reporter based in Madrid in charge of Spain and Portugal for The Associated Press. He has covered multiple World Cups and Olympic Games for the AP, as well as other major sporting events worldwide. twitter mailto "
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