Soccer Player Left In Tears After Crowd, Opponent Heap Racial Abuse In Serbian Championship
Partizan Belgrade is known for being one of the perennial powers in the Serbian SuperLeague -- Serbia's top soccer division. Rad Belgrade is also a prominent club, but unfortunately it's perhaps best known for its group of supporters, the United Force. They're an ultra far right wing group which tends to show up at games and do ultra far right wing things.
So it's the SuperLeague Championship game on Sunday, and United Force is in rare form, directing racist chants at Partizan's Brazilian midfielder Everton Luiz. Every time Luiz touched the ball, Rad supporters would scream like monkeys, and toward the end of the game they displayed racist banners directed at him.
When some of the Rad players joined in the abuse, a fight broke out on the pitch (see below), and the game had to be delayed. Luiz left the field in tears after the final whistle, embraced and supported by several teammates. Luiz, via The Independent:
“I’ve been suffering racist abuse during the entire 90 minutes and also was upset by the home players, who supported that. They were all attacking me. I want to forget this as soon as possible. I love Serbia and the people here, that is why I cried. But please say no to racism.”
Racism in Eastern European soccer is nothing new -- the big surprise being that the league allows this to go on in 2017. The game was played at King Petar I Stadium, Rad's home ground. Shouldn't behavior like this get a team relegated, or even suspended? Why is United Force allowed anywhere near a SuperLeague game? Seems like a complete failure at the top.
An example of what a problem this is: Luiz's own coach, Marko Nikolic, was fired by Slovenia’s Olimpija Ljubljana last year for calling one of his own players a "black idiot" for celebrating after a goal.
Oh ... in a bit of karmic justice, Partizan won the title, 1-0.
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