Brazilian club Palmeiras demands action against racist fan

Rio de Janeiro, March 19 (IANS) Palmeiras football club has demanded swift action to punish a fan who directed racial abuse at Brazil under-23 forward Gabriel Jesus during a Copa Libertadores match.

Television images showed a fan imitating a monkey just metres from where Gabriel was standing during Palmeiras’ 0-1 loss on Thursday to Uruguay’s Nacional at the Gran Parque Central Stadium in Montevideo, reports Xinhua.

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“Palmeiras repudiate the racist acts against Gabriel Jesus in Montevideo,” the Sao Paulo club said in a statement on Friday.

“The club reiterates that it condemns behaviour that discriminates against people, whether it be because of their race, colour, ethnicity, religion, gender or national origin.

“We have sent images to (South American football confederation) Conmebol so that the appropriate measures can be taken.”

Gabriel, who is expected to be named in Brazil’s squad for this year’s Olympic Games, did not speak to the media on Friday.

The incident is the latest in a series of racism episodes to stain South American football.

Last April, Brazil and Corinthians midfielder Elias was called a monkey by a rival player during a Copa Libertadores match.

And in November Elias’ former national team colleague Michel Bastos announced he would take legal action against a fan who racially abused him on social media.

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