Players racially abused in Bulgaria and Mexico15 May 2017

BraziliandefenderElidiano‘Eli’MarqueshasclaimedhewasthevictimofaracialabusefromBulgariacaptainSvetoslavDyakovduringaBulgarianseconddivisionmatchonSaturday.

“I want people to know what kind of person is the captain of the Bulgarian national team and what his mentality is,” Marques said in an open letter to local media following his team Oborishte 1-1 draw against Ludogorets’s second team.

“‘Monkey, you’re coming from the forest in Brazil to pretend here you’re a human…’ that’s what Dyakov told me,” 35-year-old Marques, who has played for 11 Bulgarian clubs, continued.

Dyakov and Ludogorets have vigorously denied the allegations.

A day before, on 12 May, the first round of the Mexican League MX quarter-finals between Atlas and Chivas was also marred by racism. Altas Ghanaian player Clifford Aboagye was subjected to monkey chants and racist slurs.

A club statement condemning the abuse read: “Altas FC condemn the acts of racism performed by a group of Guadalajara fans located in the south stand of the Jalisco stadium, towards our player Clifford Aboagye.

“Atlas FC call on all fans to stop and prevent any form of racism”.

Lavezzi appologises over racist picture
In China, Ezequiel Lavezzi, who currently plays for the Chinese Super League club Hebei CFFC, issued an apology after a photograph of the Argentina international pulling a face to mimic Chinese characteristics went viral on social media.

Lavezzi was pictured making the gesture while in team uniform, and both the player and the club released statements in an attempt to diffuse the situation.

“Per the request of the Chinese Super League, we took the official photos for the season,” Lavezzi said in a statement issued on Sunday.

“We were given instructions by the official photographer and I was trying to make some interesting photos by making some funny faces, which would be used afterwards for entertainment purposes.

“I had no intention of insulting the Chinese people and did not do it with any bad intentions,”

“I deeply apologise if this photo has offended the Chinese public and fans. I will be more careful in the future.” the 32-year-old added.

A club statement denied the pictures had been officially released by the club and added:

“Since joining us at the beginning of 2016, Lavezzi has been getting along very well with the team and been loved by fans too,”

“He has expressed his love for China many times too. Now we have communicated with him and have clarified he had no bad intentions and he deeply apologised for any offence caused.

“As a club, we apologise for our neglect in our work. We will be more careful in the future.”