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Soccer game marred by racist chanting

Mirror logo Mirror 20/02/2017 Aaron Flanagan
Credits: AFP © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: AFP

A football star left the pitch in tears after being subjected to shocking racist abuse from the terraces.

Partizan Belgrade midfielder Everton Luiz, 28, required the support of his team-mates after monkey noises were allegedly made in his direction.

The incident took place in Sunday's Belgrade derby against local rivals Rad Beograd.


Vile supporters unveiled a banner insulting Brazilian star Luiz before the end of the match, which Partizan won 1-0.

The referee halted the game while the banner was removed, while public messages were released by stewards to try and get the Rad fans to stop their chanting.

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But the pleas were ignored.

At the final whistle, Luiz made a one-fingered gesture in the direction of the Rad fans, who had to be restrained by the police.

Following the match, Luiz said: "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!"

Partizan coach Marko Nikolic added: "It's a return to the reality of Serbian football.

"Everton should not have reacted but something provoked his outburst, didn't it?"

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There has been a series of incidents with racist motives that have marred Serbian football in recent years.

England Under-21's black players, including Manchester City's Raheem Sterling and Tottenham's Danny Rose, suffered abuse from the stands during a match which took place in 2012. 

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The match in Krusevac was marred by ugly scenes as players fought and Danny Rose was sent off after the final whistle – making monkey gestures in response to alleged racist abuse from the crowd.

QPR defender Nedum Onuoha was subjected to similar abuse in a game against Serbia in 2007.

Recalling that day, he said: "It is an experience that will never leave me, and to this day it is a source of sadness and anger that during an international football match, played in the 21st century, I was the victim of racist chanting from Serbia supporters.

"It started during the first half of our group match in Nijmegen and got louder and louder, so much so that the PA announcer had to ask the fans to calm down."

Problems continued later in 2012 when travelling Serbian supporters rioted at a senior Euro 2012 qualifier in Italy, forcing the game to be abandoned.

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A 2014 international qualifier against Albania was also abandoned due to fan violence after a flag was flown above the Partizan Stadium, causing riots between players.

UEFA banned Albania fans from attending the Group I clash but a drone carrying an Albanian flag, apparently featuring a map of Kosovo, was flown over the pitch.

Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic pulled down the flag, leading to a mass brawl between the players. Riot police then moved in when around a dozen fans invaded the pitch and attacked Albania players - with one hooligan throwing a stool at striker Bekim Balaj.

Earlier that evening, Serbia supporters had burned a NATO flag in the stands, before clashing with police.

Partizan Belgrade themselves were forced to apologise in 2014 after an anti-Semitic banner was unfurled during a Europa League game against Tottenham. 

A small section of the home kop unfurled the message the sign emblazoned with the message "Only Jews and P*****s" in relation to the north London club's Jewish supporters.

UEFA fined the club 40,000 euros (£31,430) and forced a partial closure on their stadium.

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