Blatter condemns 'racist' Real Betis supporters

Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:57am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

MADRID (Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter has condemned the Real Betis fans who apparently directed racist chants at their own player Paulao after he was sent off in Sunday's 4-0 derby defeat at Sevilla.

A group of Betis fans were briefly shown on Spanish television making what appeared to be monkey chants at Paulao after he was dismissed shortly before halftime at the Sanchez Pizjuan. The incident was not mentioned in the referee's match report.

"Sickened to learn of ‘fans' racially abusing a Real Betis player," Blatter wrote on his Twitter feed on Tuesday.

"I condemn their actions, which were seen on TV/online by millions," the Swiss added.

"FIFA's members approved a resolution at congress in May to tackle discrimination. It's time for tougher sanctions."

Betis published a brief statement on their Twitter feed after the match in which they said the club condemned any "violent or racist act", whether directed at an opponent or one of their own players.

Reacting to Blatter's comments on Tuesday, they added, again on Twitter: "The behavior of a few who do not represent the club's fans is also disgusting to Real Betis.

"To stamp out this kind of behavior the role of organizations like FIFA is also important."

The abuse of Paulao is the latest racist incident in Spain, where monkey chants are regularly directed at black players at stadiums across the country.   Continued...

FIFA President Sepp Blatter looks on during a news conference in Doha November 9, 2013. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad