Neymar denies hearing any racist chants against him during the match against Espanyol
Barcelona forward, Neymar has rubbished all alleged reports of racists abuse being hurled at him during their derby against Espanyol at the Cornella-El Prat. He has stated that he did not hear racist abuse from the Espanyol fans during the Derby Barceloni reports La Sexta.
Only the other day Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta brought allegations against some of the Espanyol fans as he said he heard racist abuses being directed towards Neymar. To quote Iniesta, it all started, “in one corner, in the first half, from one supporter”.
Neymar has claimed that he generally does not bother about what is being said outside of the pitch and usually concentrates on the game.
"I did not hear the chants. I do not hear things outside of the pitch. I only play football," Neymar said.
Along with Iniesta former Barca vice-president Tony Freixa who is not a part of the club anymore also posted on twitter about the abuse. He had mentioned that he hopes that the match referee will include the chants in his match report. But contrary to Freixa’s hopes, nothing was included in the match report by Jose Luis Gonzalez, who was the match referee for the derby.
Barcelona head coach, Luis Enrique chose to remain silent about it and made no comments during the post-match press conference. Barcelona defender Gerrard Pique too denied having heard any racist abuses but was of the opinion that these things happen and if there are allegations then there must be investigations. If proven guilty, the perpetrators must be punished.
Espanyol club president Joan Collet also said that “nothing happened” during the derby. He said,
"I was there, just like 30,000 people and nothing happened. The whole thing blows up for one shout, but there was nothing generalised, it's a lie."
Iniesta had made the allegations, he was the only one who had heard these abuses. Now the victim himself denies having heard any insults directed at him and the incident just might have its repercussions. One might also ponder upon the awkward position that the Barcelona skipper finds himself in.
However, racism has been an issue in the La Liga for a long time. A banana was thrown at Dani Alves during a game against Villareal in May 2014 and the Brazilian picked up and ate it. The one who threw the banana towards him was fined and banned from sporting events for two years.