Portugal leaders rally around Porto player over racist slurs

February 17, 2020 - 5:46 am

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — The president and the prime minister of Portugal added their voices Monday to a national outcry over racist abuse aimed at a black FC Porto soccer player who walked off the field after hearing monkey chants.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said he “vehemently condems any display of racism.” Prime Minister Antonio Costa said “all and any acts of racism are a crime and are intolerable.”

“No human being should be subjected to this humiliation,” wrote Costa, whose father was from Mozambique. “We cannot just stand by.”

Moussa Marega, a striker from Mali, was visibly angered by monkey noises targeting him after he scored Porto’s second goal in a 2-1 win at Guimarães in the Portuguese league on Sunday. Several Porto and opposition players attempted to dissuade him from walking off the field in the 71st minute, when he demanded to be substituted.

Marega wrote on his Instagram account that “idiots” went to the stadium to shout racist insults.

He also lashed out at the referee, who gave Marega a yellow card, apparently for his refusal to continue playing. He said the referee should have defended Marega.

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