Valencia players walk off the pitch after alleged racist comment made to Mouctar Diakhaby by Cadiz player Juan Cala April 5, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer
Valencia walked off the pitch during their game at Cadiz after Mouctar Diakhaby was allegedly racially abused, before returning to complete the match.
An argument broke out in the 30th minute of the game at the Nuevo Estadio Ramon de Carranza on Saturday between Diakhaby and Cadiz player Juan Cala.
Diakhaby was clearly furious with a remark said by Cala, with a scuffle breaking out in the middle of the pitch as the game went on which resulted in the Valencia defender picking up a booking.
Just three minutes later, the entire Valencia team walked down the tunnel in a show of solidarity with their teammate with Diakhaby alleging he had been racially abused.
The match was halted for several minutes before both teams re-emerged.
Diakhaby did not return, with Hugo Guillamon coming on in his place, but backed his teammates to continue.
Cala remained in the Cadiz line-up and the hosts went on to record a 2-1 victory.
Valencia later released a statement saying the players only went back onto the pitch because of the threat of a sanction for not completing the game and expressed disappointment that it was left to them to take action.
The statement read: “We are proud of the support that Diakhaby received from his team-mates, and of the decision taken to leave the field of play together.
“We trust that the matter will be investigated. We are disappointed that no official decision was taken.
“The club does not ask the players to return to the pitch. The referee informed the players of the consequences of not going back out onto the field of play. The players, forced to play under threat of penalty after the racist insults and the yellow card to Diakhaby, decide to return to the pitch.
“The events of today should not be repeated ever again on a football pitch. Valencia CF strongly oppose racism in all forms and stands with Diakhaby.
“Today is a sad day for our sport. Today was not a loss in a game. It was a loss of respect, a loss of the spirit of football and sport.”
After the game, Valencia captain Jose Gaya spoke about the incident and said: “Diakhaby mentioned to us there were some insults from the opposition, and we are not going to accept that.
“We decided to leave the pitch and were just waiting to see what was going to happen.
“We were going to stay with our team-mate but we were told we would have to leave the pitch, we came back on the pitch because we were told we were probably going to lose the game.
“That’s what happened and Diakhaby asked us to return as well and that’s why we decided to come back.
“We did what we were told – we were told to come back to the pitch or lose three points or possibly a few more but we did so because Diakhaby asked us to do so.
“He told us to continue but he didn’t want to – he’s not happy after the game, he’s quite upset and very hurt.”
A Cadiz club statement said: “We are against any situation of racism or xenophobia, whoever the author, and we work for its eradication. All the perpetrators of these crimes, whether or not they are from our team, must pay for it.
“We do not doubt the honesty of all members of our squad, who are firm defenders of the fight against racism, whose attitude has always been exemplary in all the matches that have been played.
“The club cannot enter into assessments of the issues of the game between the players, and we always demand an attitude of respect and responsibility towards the opponents.”