Shakhtar Donetsk's Taison issues emotional statement after alleged racial abuse

"My tears were of helplessness," says Brazil midfielder after being sent off for reacting to alleged racism in Ukraine Premier League clash against Dynamo Kiev

Image: Taison left the field in tears against Dynamo Kiev

Shakhtar Donetsk's Taison has posted on social media that he will "never shut up in the face of such a despicable act" after he was allegedly racially abused during his side's win over Dynamo Kiev.

The Brazil international was sent off after reacting to alleged racist abuse, having gestured to the away fans before kicking the ball into their section of the stand at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, which has been Shakhtar's home ground since 2017.

Video footage shows the 31-year-old midfielder and Brazilian team-mate Dentinho leaving the field in tears after both had allegedly been targeted, before referee Mykola Balakinwas led all the players off the field in the 77th minute of the Ukraine Premier League clash.

Five minutes later, the players returned to continue the match, but Taison's reaction was deemed worthy of a red card.

Taison has since posted on Instagram, thanking fans for their support and vowing that he will continue to fight against racism.

He said: "I love my race, I fight for colour, whatever I do is for us, for love. I will never shut up in the face of such an inhuman and despicable act!

"My tears were of indignation, repudiation and helplessness, helplessness that I could do nothing at that moment! But we are taught very early to be strong and to fight! Fight for our rights and for equality! My role is to fight, to beat my chest, to lift my head and keep fighting always!

"In a racist society, it is not enough not to be racist, we must be anti-racist! Football needs more respect, the world needs more respect! Thank you all for the support messages! We follow the fight."

Shakhtar Donetsk team manager Luis Castro reacts during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk at Maksimir Stadium on November 6, 2019 in Zagreb, Croatia. (Photo by Igor Kralj/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images) 0:27
Shakhtar Donetsk manager Luis Castro has praised his players' "strong character" after the incident

Shakhtar manager Luis Castro did not appear for his post-match press conference, but said in a statement that the racist abuse had been "a disgrace".

"My players have once again shown their character," Castro said. "They were showing the character throughout the game.

"At this moment, I want to support absolutely everyone suffering from racism and the guys who have suffered today.

"Any manifestations of racism are absolutely unacceptable. It was, is, and will be a disgrace to everyone. Together, we must fight it - every day, every minute, and every second. Thank you."

Clubs and Ukrainian PL respond

A statement from Shakhtar read: "FC Shakhtar categorically opposes any manifestations and forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and any related intolerance.

"There can be no justification of those who insult other people because of their skin colour, religious, or political beliefs. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable in any civilized countries and football leagues.

"UEFA imposes the toughest sanctions on the clubs and associations for their fans' racist behaviour in matches.

"Such humiliating accidents cause pain and disappointment to the large football family of FC Shakhtar. We condemn this kind of behavior of the audience, we will always voice the support and protect our players.

"We are calling on football authorities and clubs to stop racism in the stadiums."

Dynamo also released a statement, which said that the club would not tolerate racism, but stopped short of condemning their fans.

They said the club would co-operate fully if the Ukrainian National Football Association launched an investigation.

"Sharing the concern of our Donetsk colleagues regarding the issue of observing human morality in the sports arenas, we consider hasty the allegation of a pre-determined guilt of the fans, when the investigation into the circumstances of this case has not even begun," the statement said.

"We look forward to the start of the investigation, ready to assist it comprehensively and, if proven guilty, will take all possible steps to further isolate these individuals not only from football but also from society.

"We look forward to the release of photos and videos that could shed light on all the circumstances of the incident."

Image: Taison took to Instagram to say that "football needs more respect", following the incident

The Ukrainian Premier League also condemned the incident which occurred during Shakhtar's game on Sunday.

"The UPL deeply regrets the incident that occurred during the match between Shakhtar and Dynamo on November 10th," a statement read.

"This incidence shows that we have to strengthen the dialogue with the clubs in order to avoid such incidents in the future.

"UPL trusts that the competent disciplinary body will investigate this case with the necessary priority and will sanction all involved persons according to the applicable laws and regulations."

Serhiy Kryvtsov's first-half goal gave Shakhtar a 1-0 victory. They lead the table by 12 points, having won 13 and drawn one of their 14 league games so far this season.

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