Valencia’s support for Mouctar Diakhaby continued on Monday as they took a strong and clear stand against racism during training on Monday.
Less than 24 hours earlier, the center-back had been the target of alleged racial abuse by Cadiz’s Juan Cala during their LaLiga clash. As a result of the allegation, Valencia walked off the field in protest.
And on Monday, they continued their harsh policy against racism by reuniting as a team.
Valencia players were one on Monday in a show of solidarity with Mouctar Diakhaby (up front) during practice after being the target of alleged racist abuse against Cadiz on Sunday.
Valencia defender Diakhaby was unhappy after a comment from Juan Cala of Cadiz (left)
Diakhaby explained his position to the referee before deciding to walk off the field
Cala has since ‘firmly’ denied allegations against him that suggest he has racially abused him
Stand as one on training; the first team roster, manager Javi Gracia, his coaching staff and president Anil Murthy all stood together, showing their palms to signal the need to stop racism.
Today, tomorrow and always: STOP RACISM! Our full support to @ Diakhaby_5, ‘she tweeted next to the photo.
“We will fight to the end to make it clear what happened, to defend our player and to eradicate racism!”
On Sunday, the 24-year-old defender reacted furiously after a collision in the first half with the Cala of Cadiz, which resulted in a yellow card.
Diakhaby was visibly angry at something that was said, although Cala has since denied ‘firm’ allegations against him suggesting he had racially abused the center back.
Since the match, Valencia has released a 10-point statement entitled ‘no to racism’ on them official website.
They say Diakhaby is the ‘latest victim of racism in football’ and it is a ‘sad day’ for the sport.
Cadiz has also released a statement about them official website stating that they are “against all forms of racism” and “have complete confidence in the integrity” of their team members who are “ardent advocates” of the fight against racism.
The incident took place 30 minutes after the LaLiga clash between the two sides – Diakhaby was yelled at Cala after their clash and stopped by teammate and Cadiz defender Fali.
The game was interrupted after 30 minutes when the Valencia players walked off the field
He then spoke to the referee to explain what had happened, before leaving the field moments later, followed by his teammates and opponents.
Sportsmail understand that Diakhaby was left ‘devastated’ after the incident.
The French defender decided not to continue the game, but asked his teammates to return to the field to complete the game.
Referee David Medie Jimenez said in his report that Diakhaby had told him that Cala had used a racist slur against him, although Cadiz manager Alvaro Cervera said his player had assured him that he had not offended the Frenchman.
It was the first time that a LaLiga match had been interrupted after being accused of racism.
The rest of the Valencia players believe Diakhaby’s version of the events and showed this solidarity by walking off the field together.
Both players were given five minutes to warm up before the game resumed, while Diakhaby chose to watch from the stands.
After the game, this was reported by Sports carousel that Cala denies saying anything insulting to Diakhaby and is in ‘shock’.
Diakhaby’s team-mate Jose Gaya spoke after the game, suggesting that Valencia would have lost the game had they not returned to the field.
He told the Spanish network Movistar: ‘Diakhaby told us he had heard a racist insult, so we all went off the field.
The Valencia players would return to the field on the support of Diakhaby who went no further
‘We were told we had to play because if we didn’t they would take the three points from us and maybe we would get more points. Diakhaby asked us to continue playing, we wouldn’t have done this if he hadn’t. He said he was not in the right frame of mind to keep playing. He’s devastated. ‘
Gaya added that he had heard Cala’s comment to Diakhaby, who described it as ‘a very ugly insult that I will not repeat’.
Cadiz coach Alvaro Cervera took Cala away at half time, saying he did it because he was already on a booking and didn’t want to risk being sent away.
The manager also added that he believed his player was denying racist abuse. Valencia coach Javi Gracia said his player was ‘seriously offended’ and ‘quite shocked’.
He added: “Diakhaby told us he was not in the right frame of mind to continue playing, but he understood we had to get back onto the field to avoid some sort of punishment.”
It was the first time that a LaLiga game had been discontinued following an accusation of racism
Social media has responded to the incident with Spanish Villarreal defender Pau Torres tweeting, ‘Say no to racism’.
FIFPro also tweeted, saying: ‘The situation in today’s Cadiz-Valencia match is of serious concern. Together with our colleagues from AFE, we keep an eye on the situation surrounding the match.
While much remains to be explored, the notion that there was pressure on a team that responded in collective solidarity with a teammate to continue a match under threat of sanctions shows flaws in both regulation and the response to anti-discrimination measures .
Tonight’s events show again that the protocols built to protect players in situations of discriminatory abuse do in fact prioritize game protection, which is not only a malfunction of the system, but also the individuals who already be affected. ‘
Valencia’s 10-point statement ‘No to racism’
1. Mouctar Diakhaby became the latest victim of racism in football today.
2. After receiving a racial insult – which was in no way acceptable – he was yellow carded for his protests.
3. We are proud of the support Diakhaby received from his teammates and of the decision to leave the field together.
4. We trust that the matter will be investigated.
5. We are disappointed that no official decision has been made.
6. The club does not ask the players to return to the field. The referee informed the players of the consequences of not returning to the field of play. The players, forced to play under threat of a penalty kick after the racist insults and the yellow card for Diakhaby, decide to return to the field.
7. Diakhaby requested that his teammates return to the field to continue the game. They respected his wish.
8. Today’s events should never be repeated on a football field.
9. Valencia CF strongly opposes racism in all forms and supports Diakhaby. Today is a sad day for our sport.
10. Today was not a defeat in a game. It was a loss of respect, a loss of the spirit of football and sports.
Cadiz club statement
Following the events that took place during the match against Valencia Club de Fútbol, Cádiz Club de Fútbol would like to make the following comments:
– We are against all forms of racism or xenophobia, regardless of who is responsible, and are working hard to eradicate it. Anyone guilty of such a violation, whether on our team or not, should be punished.
– We have complete confidence in the integrity of our team members, who are staunch advocates of the fight against racism and have always shown an exemplary attitude in every match the team has played.
– The club cannot comment on incidents that occur between players during play and always demands respect and responsibility from its players in their attitude towards opponents.
– We are working hard, and will continue to work hard, to keep all xenophobic behavior out of the game, with a loud and clear message of ‘NO TO RACISM’.