The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has opened official disciplinary proceedings against Juan Cala de Cadiz for alleged racist abuse of Mouctar Diakhaby from Valencia.
The Cádiz player has been accused of racially abusing Diakhaby in Sunday’s La Liga game between the two teams, which Cala has denied.
Diakhaby and Cala were involved in a confrontation and verbal exchange in the first half, which prompted the visiting team to leave the pitch before returning later to finish the game.
Valencia posted a video on Twitter on Tuesday in which Diakhaby alleged that Cala used “intolerable” words in the exchange, but at a press conference the same day, Cala denied the allegation, saying he had not racially abused Diakhaby and had only said “leave me in peace”.
In a statement, the RFEF said that it “considers it essential to act firmly in the face of any action or statement liable to violence, racism, xenophobia or intolerance in football”.
Cadiz said he “fully agrees and applauds the RFEF opening an investigation”, adding: “We hope and are convinced that, in the interests of football, the investigation process will be completed”.
Cadiz’s statement continued: “If the investigation ends, we are sure, to resolve the consistency of an unfair accusation against our player Juan Cala, this same body, following the same criteria, must take the necessary measures to that those who have the evidence are punished.
“The Cádiz Football Club will defend its player from any type of unfounded accusation, just as otherwise it would have condemned and combated any behavior contrary to the values demanded by the competition and our own entity.
“Stop racism. No to racism.”
How the Cadiz-Valencia incident unfolded
The incident happened just before half an hour after Diakhaby collided with Cala as Cadiz threw a free kick into Valencia’s box.
The French defender was visibly angry and after a trade in which he had to be held up by teammate Kevin Gameiro and Cadiz’s Fali, he was given a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct.
After speaking to the referee to further explain the reason for his explosion, the player exited the pitch and walked down the tunnel alongside his teammates with the game at 1-1.
The game then resumed 24 minutes later following discussions between the Valencia players, with captain Jose Gaya revealing that Diakhaby had asked the team to continue without him.
Diakhaby was replaced by Guillamon, while Cala remained in Cadiz’s lineup on the restart until he was replaced at half-time. Cadiz won the match 2-1 at the Carranza stadium.
A tweet from Valencia after the game said they are offering their player their full support.
He said: “The player, who had received a racial insult, asked his teammates to return to the pitch. WE SUPPORT YOU MOUCTAR. NO TO RACISM.”
After the match, Gaya said: “Diakhaby told us that there had been insults from the opposition, and we are not going to accept that.”
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