Football

Valencia told to play on after alleged racist insult on Diakhaby

Valencia were told by authorities to resume playing yesterday morning's (Singapore time) La Liga match at Cadiz or risk forfeiting the points, after they had left the pitch when Mouctar Diakhaby complained he had been racially abused, said fellow defender Jose Gaya.

Valencia's players walked off the field in the 29th minute after Frenchman Diakhaby reacted furiously following an altercation with Cadiz's Spanish centre-back Juan Cala.

Referee David Medie Jimenez said in his report that Diakhaby had told him Cala had used a racial slur against him, although Cadiz coach Alvaro Cervera said Cala had assured him he had not insulted the Frenchman.

It was the first time a La Liga match had been halted following an accusation of racism.

The players eventually returned to the pitch but did so without Diakhaby, who said he was not in the right state of mind to continue playing and was substituted. Diakhaby was also shown a yellow card before the Valencia players left the pitch for arguing with Cala.

The score was 1-1 when the visitors walked off. Cadiz went on to win the game 2-1 after an 88th-minute strike from Marcos Mauro, who replaced Cala.

"Diakhaby told us he heard a racist insult so we all went off the pitch. We were told that we had to play because, if we didn't, they would take the three points off us and maybe we'd be docked more points," Gaya told Spanish network Movistar.

"Diakhaby asked us to play on, we wouldn't have done so if he hadn't done so."

Gaya added he had heard the comment Cala made to Diakhaby, describing it as "a very ugly insult which I won't repeat".

Cervera said he took Cala off at half-time because he was already on a booking and did not want to risk him getting sent off. Cala had given Cadiz the lead in the 14th minute before Kevin Gameiro equalised for Valencia.

Cala told Marca: "I am not going to hide. Tomorrow I will speak at a press conference.

"It seems that in this country, there is no presumption of innocence." - REUTERS

Football