• La Liga

Villareal fined for banana thrown at Alves

ESPN staff
May 7, 2014
No room for racism

Villareal have been fined less than £10,000 after a fan threw a banana at Barcelona defender Dani Alves.

Imposing the €12,000 fine, which works out to £9,900, the Spanish Football League's Competition Commission said it took into account the fact the supporter had been identified and banned for life by the club. It had previously considered forcing Villareal to close part of their El Madrigal stadium.

The racist gesture occurred during Barcelona's 2-2 at Villareal on April 27. Alves treated the incident with disdain, taking a bite out of the banana before taking a corner.

The incident caused an outcry on social media, with footballers the world over posting pictures of themselves eating bananas in support of Alves' actions.

Spanish police confirmed that a 26-year-old man had been taken into custody last week and charged with a 'breach of fundamental rights and civil liberties'. The supporter also received a lifetime ban from Villareal, but Alves said this was not enough.

"If I could, I would put a photo of the fan on the internet so that he would be shamed," Alves told Brazil's Radio Globo. "There is racism against foreigners. They sell the country as being first world but in certain things they are very backward."

Meanwhile, Inter Milan have been forced to close the Curva Nord stand, home to the Ultras in their San Siro stadium, for their final Serie A home match of the season after racist chants towards Mario Balotelli and discriminatory insults of Naples were heard during their derby defeat by AC Milan at the weekend.

Not for the first time this season, Inter will have to play without their most vociferous fans when they host Lazio this Saturday. They have also been ordered to pay a fine of €50,000 (£41,000) after league officials witnessed racially discriminatory behaviour on Sunday night.

A week ago, Inter were ordered to close a smaller part of the San Siro for two games after discriminatory chants were heard in their match with Napoli. That sanction has now been widened due to the repeat misbehaviour of their fans on Sunday.

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