LISBON: The latest high-profile racist incident in European football has seen Porto forward Moussa Marega walk off midway through his side’s 2-1 win away to Vitoria Guimaraes, one of his former clubs writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Marega, 28, started to walk towards the dugouts in the 69th minute, nine minutes after scoring what proved the winner. He raised his middle fingers to the crowd and insisted on being replaced
Team-mates including Alex Telles, Sergio Oliveira and Ivan Marcano tried in vain to stop the Mali forward walking off the pitch.
Marega spent a season on loan at Vitoria in the 2016-17 campaign, scoring 15 goals in 25 games.
In an Instagram post, Marega said the home supporters “who come to the stadium to make racist screams” were “idiots”.
Miguel Pinto Lisboa, president of Guimaraes, promised action against the hooligans involved but then also tried to excuse them.
He said: “At Vitória we have players of all colors, all races and all creeds. We promote gender and race equality in sport and we do not engage in behaviors that may harm that equality.
“If any supporter of Vitoria was guilty of this behavior, we will take the corresponding measures but it seems to me that there was also some provocative behaviour intended to set things alight.
“You can see the player’s action in the television replays.
“The case is not unprecedented, as Marega was once a player of our club and also wanted to leave the field here, after something which was nothing to do with racism.”
Porto coach Sergio Conceicao said: “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 described it as “a sad situation that should make the Guimaraes club and Portuguese football blush with shame”.