#SayNoToRacism in sports | La Liga

A La Liga game had to be halted due to the racial abuse of a black player of African origin.

Spain-born Inaki Williams, who became the first black player to score for Basque-only club Athletic Bilbao in the 2014/15 campaign, was racially abused during his side’s trip to Sporting Gijon on Sunday.

Some of the home fans racially abused the 22-year-old, born to a Liberian father and Ghanaian mother in Basque, Spain, with referee Clos Gomez feeling compelled to stop the game temporarily.

Only after players of the home team pleaded with their fans to stop the abusive chants, as well as an official stadium announcement, did the game continue.  

“2016 – this should never, ever happen in Spain,” Spanish football expert Guillem Balague told Sky Sports.

“Things that could happen is there could be a fine. There’s a possibility of cancelling tickets for a part of the stands.

“The referee could stop the game completely. He’s got the authority to do that. He could even stop fans coming to the stadium in the next game if it became very serious.

“Let’s see what the referee says in the report, but certainly it’s embarrassing.”

This is not the first time Gijon have found themselves in hot water for abusive chants from their supporters – they were fined €3 000 for a similar incident in 2008.

Gijon beat Williams’ side 2-1 after the game eventually continued, while FC Barcelona stormed to the top of La Liga after crushing Real Betis 6-2.

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