Richarlison: Tottenham forward racially abused with banana as Brazil beat Tunisia in Paris friendly
Richarlison: “As long as they keep ‘blah blah blah’ and don’t punish, it’s going to continue”; Brazil also condemn racial abuse of their forward, who was targeted as he celebrated scoring in 5-1 World Cup warm-up win over Tunisia at the Parc des Princes
FIFA has opened an investigation after Tottenham forward Richarlison had a banana thrown at him as he was racially abused during Brazil’s friendly win over Tunisia in Paris on Tuesday.
The incident occurred as the former Everton striker ran towards the corner flag to celebrate scoring his side’s second goal in their 5-1 win at the Parc des Princes.
Footage showed Manchester United midfielder Fred kicking the banana away while other objects were also thrown onto the pitch.
FIFA, world football’s governing body, issued a statement on Wednesday: “First and foremost, FIFA strongly rejects any form of racism and violence and has a very clear zero tolerance stance against such behaviour in football.
“FIFA will investigate the incident in yesterday’s game in Paris.”
Prior to the game, five-time world champions Brazil had posed for photographs with an anti-racism banner which read, ‘Without our black players, we wouldn’t have stars on our shirts’.
The Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) later issued a statement via Twitter condemning the abuse of Richarlison and calling for strong punishments.
It read: “After Brazil’s second goal, a banana was thrown towards Richarlison. The CBF reinforces its stance against discrimination and vehemently repudiates yet another episode of racism in football.
“Whether on or off the field, attitudes like this cannot be tolerated.”
Richarlison said racism would continue if there was no punishment handed out. “As long as they keep ‘blah blah blah’ and don’t punish, it’s going to continue like this, happening every day and in every corner,” he added.
Defender Thiago Silva also condemned the act. “I was saddened by the gesture they made because that’s not football,” he said. “Football is about supporting your team. Afterwards, on the pitch, we try to give our all for our national team. But gestures like that are not good for football.”
CBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues: “Once again, I come publicly to express my rejection. This time I saw it with my own eyes. This shocks us. We must always remember that we are all the same, regardless of colour, race or religion.
“The fight against racism is not a cause, but a fundamental [battle for] change to wipe this type of crime from the planet. I insist on saying that the punishments need to be more severe.”
Richarlison’s goal had put Brazil back ahead after Montassar Talbi cancelled out Raphinha’s opener. Neymar added a penalty, Raphinha claimed his second and Pedro wrapped up the scoring after Tunisia had Dylan Bronn sent off.
Sky Sports have contacted FIFA for their response to the incident.
‘Lots of issues could obstruct justice for Richarlison’
Piara Powar, executive director of Fare, an anti-racism network in European football:
“I think even now, after doing this job for so long, it is always shocking to see bananas being thrown, given the degrading meaning of that gesture.
“This is an intercontinental friendly – between Tunisia, who are with CAF, and Brazil with CONMEBOL – so it is difficult to know who has responsibility for governing this match and that is one of the questions we are asking FIFA this morning.
“I think whenever a banana is thrown in a football stadium it is pre-meditated. I don’t buy the argument that someone happened to have it on them.
“Generally, what we would be doing is presenting information to FIFA to have the Tunisian FA sanctioned because that is the way football regulation works. I guess the Tunisian FA would say, ‘Well this was in Paris, we don’t know if this was one of our fans, we don’t know where the ticket was bought’.
“So there are a whole load of issues which I think are going to get into the way of justice for Richarlison. I’m hoping that the French authorities can identify the individual through CCTV and then arrests can be made.
“We’ve already been in contact with FIFA, they are aware of it and looking into it.
“They will be collecting evidence that they can, and part of that evidence collection will be talking to the Brazillian FA and also the Tunisian FA and seeing what observations can be made.
“I hope they will also be asking the French authorities what observations they have.”
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