Possible sanction for Espanyol after club reported for racist chants

Madrid, Jan 8 (IANS) Espanyol face a fine or even a possible stadium closure after the Spanish Football League decided to report racist chanting directed against FC Barcelona striker Neymar to the country’s anti-violence committee.

The chants were heard in the 14th minute of the bad-tempered 0-0 draw between both sides on January 2, reports Xinhua.

Although the referee, Gonzalez, who was criticized for allowing Espanyol some over-physical challenges on their Barcelona rivals, made no reference to the chants in his post-match report, they were clearly audible with former Barcelona presidential candidate Tony Freixa tweeting that he hoped action would be taken.

Neymar preferred not to comment, saying he “just played football,” and didn’t listen to things which happened off the field.

However, Espanyol president Joan Collet insisted that there had been no chanting saying he “heard chants of ‘uh uh uh’ every Sunday”.

Tensions remain high between the two clubs after a second meeting, this time in the Copa del Rey knockout competition ended with players pushing and shoving each other and incidents in the tunnel after Barcelona’s 4-1 win on Wednesday night and the two sides will meet for a third time in Espanyol’s Cornella Stadium next Wednesday.

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