• Copa del Rey

Marcelo racially abused by Atletico fans

ESPN staff
February 6, 2014
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Real Madrid full-back Marcelo and his young son were targeted with racist chants by Atletico Madrid supporters after his team's 3-0 Copa del Rey semi-final first leg win on Wednesday night.

Marcelo, an unused substitute in the game at the Bernabeu, took part in a short warm-down session on the pitch about 20 minutes afterwards, when around 500 Atletico fans were being held in the top north corner of the stadium for security.

Graham Hunter, who reported on the game for ESPNFC.com, said: "Marcelo, I'm sad to say, departed the stadium with vicious, unforgiveable monkey noises ringing in his ears.

"He was the victim of that and 'Marcelo's a monkey' sung by the Atletico fans isolated in the empty stadium as a traditional security measure."

Marcelo's son, who was also on the pitch, was said to be targeted too. The Spanish media did not report the incidents after the game, and Marcelo appears to have been unaffected, tweeting "Great game. Let's goooooo #HalaMadrid".

A La Liga club whose supporters are found guilty of racist abuse can be fined and have their ground closed for games.

Such cases have often been ignored in Spain in the past, however the country's football community have recently taken a stronger stance - mostly by punishing the individuals involved.

Real Betis defender Paulao spoke publicly about how upset he and his family were when his own club's 'supporters' abused him during a defeat to local rivals Sevilla last November.

But even after FIFA president Sepp Blatter tweeted that he had been "sickened" by the incident Betis limited themselves to another tweet condemning "any violent or racist behaviour."

Two fans were singled out for punishment after directing racist abuse at Granada defender Allan-Romeo Nyom during a game last October, after Nyom himself drew attention to the abuse he was receiving.

Referee Carlos Del Cerro stopped the game and then included details of the incident in his official report, which led to fines and bans for two ultras.

Barcelona right-back Dani Alves is among a number of La Liga players to have condemned racist behaviour by supporters in the past, pointing out that action is rarely taken against those perpetrating it.

"It does not just happen here," Alves said after a Copa del Rey game at Real Madrid in January 2013. "I go through this constantly in all the grounds I go to. It is a shame, as fans can like you or not, and there can be heated moments within games, but the crowd should just support their own team."

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