PeruviantopdivisionclubCiencianohavekicked-offananti-racismcampaigntotackleracistabuseaftertheirfansraciallyabusedJuanAurich Panamanianplayer LuisTejadaatamatchearlierthismonth.
On 1 March, during the Peruvian top tier encounter between Cienciano and Juan Aurich, Tejada booted the ball into the stands after a group of Cienciano fans racially abused him, leaving the field in protest minutes after. The player was consequently booked for kicking the ball.
Following the incident the Cusco-based club, southeastern Peru, asked the Peruvian Federation Disciplinary Committee to investigate the case and sanction the player for his behaviour, but days after launched a video calling on its fans to “say no to racism”.
The video, which is looking to raise awareness of racist chanting, features some of the club’s player, who together address the fans: “We are all one and no one is different. In Argentina, Uruguay and Peru, in Cusco and around the world, say no to racism”.
Football and governmental authorities condemn the incident
Incidents of racist nature have been recurrent in Peruvian football, in 2014 Fare noted a total of five racist incidents in domestic and international matches, three of them aimed at Luis Tejada.
In Peru and Panama, several football and governmental authorities condemned the incident.
A Peruvian FA statement read: “The FPF consider crucial to put an end to discriminatory behaviour in Peruvian and international football and, in order to do that, exemplary sanctions need to be imposed to punish such behaviour”.
The Peruvian Ministry of Culture also addressed the incident, their delegate in Cusco, Ricardo Ruiz Caro, said: “I am sure that these racist demonstrations do not portrait what the Cusco population, who have always shown respect for others, really think.”
After the incident, the Panamanian FA wrote a letter to their counterpart in Peru reading: “We condemn the racist remarks aimed at the player.
“As a football governing body, we call on football authorities in Peru to launch an investigation and to sanction those who were involved in this incident that goes against the values of Fair Play that FIFA promote”.
Days after, the FPF Disciplinary Committee imposed a €11,580 fine to Cienciano and ordered the club to play one match behind closed doors.
Tejada on the incident
Interviewed after the incident, Tejada said: “There were racist insults said from the start of the warm-up. There were passages during the game when they were repeated, and nobody did anything. Then when I was caught offside the insults were even stronger.
“I could not take it any longer, and I just went to kick the ball in a gesture of protest or impotence, seeing that nobody was doing anything. I wanted to make clear that I reject something that we are not learning about and not taking seriously in this sport.
“I left the field as a show of protest against the racist insults and gestures. I do not understand why the referee continued the game. What more has to happen? I am sure there is no blow you can compare to this sadness. I have a family, my children, I do not want these types of situations to happen.”