It was surely one of the most unsavoury episodes in Spanish football history.
On Sunday afternoon, during the match between Cadiz and Valencia, the visitors walked off the pitch in disgust during the first half after their player, Mouctar Diakhaby, alleged he had been the victim of racist abuse by Cadiz player, Juan Cala.
After a period of consultation, detailed by Football Espana, it seems that Valencia then decided to return to the pitch, minus Diakhaby.
Nuestro TOTAL APOYO a @Diakhaby_5
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El jugador, que ha recibido un insulto racista, ha pedido a sus compañeros que vuelvan al campo a luchar.
— Valencia CF ??? (@valenciacf) April 4, 2021
Valencia tweeted their determination to continue the fight against racism in the wake of the incident, which was eventually detailed in the referees report.
Although neither the official, David Medie Jimenez, or his assistants allege they heard anything at all, the ref noted, per MARCA, that ‘In the 29th minute, I interrupted the match because of a confrontation between players of both teams.
‘Player No.12 of Valencia, Mouctar Diakhaby, after being shown a yellow card for arguing with an opponent, told me word for word ‘he called me sh***y black’ in reference to player No.16 of Cadiz, Juan Torres Ruiz.
‘This was not heard by any of the members of the officiating team.
‘After a few moments, Valencia decided to leave the field of play. For this reason, the match was temporarily suspended. Both teams returned to their respective dressing rooms.
‘After some minutes of suspension, the Valencia delegate, David Rangel Pastor, in the presence of the Cadiz delegate, Antonio Navarrete Reyes, told us that they had decided to substitute player No.12, Mouctar Diakhaby, and continue with the match.’
The Valencia players have walked off the pitch at the Carranza ?
Mouctar Diakhaby was visibly angry after an altercation with Cadiz’s Juan Cala, and ultimately left the pitch with his teammates following behind him pic.twitter.com/3XKvm5Y9dc
— Premier Sports ? (@PremierSportsTV) April 4, 2021
We’re sure not to have heard the last of this, and what La Liga do next in terms of punishment will be heavily scrutinised by all of the teams that play in the division, and the wider footballing public.
If things aren’t dealt with adequately, this could have real consequences for the governing body, because everyone needs to pay more than lip service to the problem.