Moussa Marega: Porto forward leaves field after suffering alleged racist abuse
Last Updated: 17/02/20 12:33pm
Porto forward Moussa Marega walked off the field during their game against Vitoria Guimaraes on Sunday in Portugal, after he was subjected to alleged racist chanting from home supporters.
Marega battled past team-mates who were seemingly pleading with him to stay on - and play was halted for over three minutes before he left the pitch.
He had scored what turned out to be Porto's winner in a 2-1 victory just minutes earlier - and had celebrated by running over towards a section of home fans and pointing towards his forearm.
Objects and stadium seats were then thrown towards the 28-year-old, and there were also chants and jeers at the Estadio D. Afonso Henriques, as he continued his celebrations pitchside.
During the 68th minute, play was halted and Marega was visibly distressed as his team-mates tried to calm him down and prevent him from trying to leave the field.
Porto's coaching staff then ushered Marega away and down the tunnel while he continued his angry exchanges with the Vitoria crowd.
In an Instagram post after the game, the forward called the supporters who targeted him "idiots" and aimed a swear word at them.
He also made his feelings clear about the referee, saying: "I also thank the referee for not defending me and for giving me a yellow card because I defend my skin colour.
"I hope I never find you on a football field again. You are a shame."
Marega subsequently posted a message thanking people for their support.
His head coach at Porto, Sergio Conceicao, said after the game: "We are a family regardless of nationality, skin colour, hair colour.
"We are human, we deserve respect. What happened here is unfortunate.
"We are completely indignant about what happened.
"I know the passion that exists for Vitoria and I think most of the fans do not see themselves in the same attitude of some people who have insulted Moussa since the warm-up."
Porto's match report on their website said the situation should make Vitoria and Portuguese football blush with shame.
A statement from the club said they fully support Marega's actions and called for a strong penalty against Guimaraes, who say they will investigate the incident and punish those responsible.
The Portuguese league said: "Liga Portugal does not agree, it never will, with acts of racism, xenophobia, intolerance and any other that jeopardise the dignity of footballers, agents, or just, of the human being.
"These acts shame football and human dignity.
Todos e quaisquer atos de racismo são crime e intoleráveis. Nenhum ser humano deve ser sujeito a esta humilhação. Ninguém pode ficar indiferente. Condeno todos e quaisquer atos de racismo, em quaisquer circunstâncias.— António Costa (@antoniocostapm) February 17, 2020
"Liga Portugal will do everything so that this, and all episodes of racism, do not go unpunished."
The president and the prime minister of Portugal added their voices to the outcry on Monday.
Prime Minister Antonio Costa said the incident was unacceptable and urged police and soccer authorities to make an example of those responsible by handing down tough punishment.
He wrote on Twitter: "Any and all acts of racism are criminal and intolerable.
"No human being should be subjected to this humiliation. No one can remain indifferent.
"I condemn any and all acts of racism, under any circumstances.
"Total solidarity with Marega, who in the field proved to be not only a great player, but also a great citizen."
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said: "Portugal's Constitution very clearly condemns racism, as well as any other forms of xenophobia and discrimination."
Porto's players failed to show solidarity with Moussa Marega by trying to stop the forward from leaving the field after he was allegedly racially abused, says Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Wright-Phillips slammed the behaviour of the Porto players, saying: "I think it was disgusting to be honest with you."