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“I am a victim.” A goalkeeper got into a fight with a fan in the stands for racist insults, is exposed to a harsh sanction and today apologized

Racism is something that strongly affects and worries Spanish football. Last weekend there was another embarrassing chapter, this time in the third category, when Senegalese Cheikh Sarr, Rayo Majadahonda’s goalkeeper, went into the stands behind his goal to fight with a rival fan who was insulting him. The incident, which occurred during the match against Sestao River, led to the expulsion of the goalkeeper, and the decision of his team not to continue playing the match.

This Tuesday, Sarr apologized for the reaction and explained the facts in a press conference. “I want to apologize for my performance because it was hot. I wouldn’t react like that again. It bothers me a lot to have to apologize, I ask it out of respect. I don’t do it for him, I do it for the image of football“said the footballer, who faces a harsh sanction, during a press conference held after his team’s training session.

In relation to the facts and the possible sanction he could receive, he said: “I feel screwed, but I’m a little better. I am sorry for my reaction, if it happens again I will know how to behave, but I was nervous. It wasn’t the first time it happened to me. Other times it was more funny or a joke, but I couldn’t stand what happened on Saturday. The referee couldn’t hear because he was in the middle of the field. They called me fucking black y fucking nigga. I think a sanction would be unfair, I am a victim”.

Regarding his first decision, which was to approach the area where the man who was attacking him was, he explained: “The worst moment was when they insulted me. I went there to talk to him, to ask him why he was insulting me. It wasn’t aggressive at all, I wanted to ask him why he did it, if he had a family or children.because he was an older person.”

And about his exchange with the match referee, Sarr said: “My attitude towards the referee was not aggressive. Things happened that bothered me and he showed me the red one without asking anything, that’s why I wanted to ask him why with all the respect in the world. That’s the only thing I went to ask him. An hour later I also spoke to him and he asked me what had happened and gave me his support, so I’m grateful for that. Also with several Sestao players who came to talk to me and gave me their support.”

Furthermore, the African thanked all of Spanish football for their support. “I want to thank everyone who has supported me. I am very grateful. I am very proud of them. I also want to thank my colleagues,” she said.

Vinicius Junior, one of the footballers who fight the most against racism, expressed himself on his networks about Sarr’s case. “This weekend, I won’t even play. But we had three despicable cases of racism in Spain this Saturday alone. All my support for Acuña and coach Quique Flores, from Sevilla. To Sarr and Rayo Majadahonda, may his bravery inspire others. Racists must be exposed and the games cannot continue with them in the stands. We will only have victory when the racists leave the stadiums straight to jail, a place they deserve,” the Real Madrid forward wrote on his X account. “I have not contacted him directly, but I saw that he had encouraged me in networks and I thanked him,” Sarr said in this regard.

Sestao River issued a statement about the behavior of its fans: “Given the events that occurred in the match today, Saturday, March 30, 2024, between Sestao River Club and Rayo Majadahonda, we want to point out: 1. Sestao River Club reiterates its most absolute condemnation against racism and violence, always complying with all the protocols of the Sports Law in all its forms: we do not tolerate any type of racist attack. Racism has no place within our institution, as we have demonstrated in our more than one hundred years of existence. 2. We want to call for responsibility and rigor in the face of a very delicate issue that must be treated as such. 3. If the alleged racist insults are proven, the Sestao River Club will make all its means available to collaborate with sports justice and clarify the responsibilities of whoever corresponds.”

Before the conference he offered this Tuesday, Sarr had made strong statements to Cadena COPE. There, he stated that “If all black players acted like Vinícius, denouncing these situations, racism would end. I am going to death with him because he has also experienced it a lot of times. It makes no sense that there is racism. I’m very proud of him for saying it.. I thank him for supporting me and for fighting against racism, because he cannot do it alone. I have thanked you for your post on Instagram. If all players of our color did the same, racism would end”said the Rayo Majadahonda goalkeeper.

Furthermore, in that talk he acknowledged that these days were “very bad” and that he is “very screwed.” “These are things that I have not experienced in my life. My wife was really screwed, she defended me a lot and she had a really bad time. That’s life, learning and growing. It was difficult for me because it is the first time it has happened to me in football. This Saturday was horrible. In Granada it happened to me once, but it made me laugh, I stuck it out,” he said.

Regarding the facts, he explained that the warm-up was “calm” and that everything broke out in the second half. “10 or 15 minutes into the second half they start saying strange things and making monkey screams. I heard them, but I didn’t pay attention to them. There were several. They also insulted my colleagues. They told me strange things, but I endured. I neither look back nor pay attention to him. When they scored the second goal, it was the moment when I broke my fast (he is Muslim and does Ramadan), I went to the post to grab my bottle of water and A man with a hoodie and glasses, with a scarf over his face, told me ‘fucking black’, ‘run, you fucking nigger’, and I couldn’t stand it anymore.”, he stated.

“He told me very close, one meter away, he came to where I was. I wanted to grab him to tell him why he insulted me; if he didn’t have children. The captain came to get me out of there and all my teammates came to defend me”he continued. “The referee didn’t see anything because he was in the center of the field. He didn’t even ask me, he showed me the red card and I couldn’t understand it. “If they do something racist to you, I would have to defend the player,” he added.

It was then that the captain of Rayo Majadahonda, Jorge Casado, decided to withdraw the team from the field. “He didn’t talk about it with me, it was the captain’s decision and I thank him very much. At that moment I couldn’t even speak, I didn’t understand it. I wouldn’t have wanted to continue playing if they hadn’t expelled me.. “I didn’t make an aggressive gesture, I went to talk to him,” she explained.

After that, The Senegalese guard filed a complaint with the Civil Guard. “The president tells me to go to the police station and I tell this version. The person who served us was very good to us. We left you a video from the networks, but the sound is not there,” he indicated, although Surprisingly, the individual who had insulted him went to report him for assault beforehand.. “It was before me. When I went to testify they already told me that a boy had come to report me,” she said.

Justice is here to defend and it will do things right. I apologize again with all the respect in the world.. I didn’t do it to hurt anyone, just to express myself, to get out what was in my heart and that’s what I felt, without aggression. I just wanted to ask the referee where the red card came from. When the game ended, he asked me what had happened and there he gave me a lot of encouragement,” he explained.

However, he is clear that if the fan asks for forgiveness he would forgive him. “All things in life can be forgiven, you have to have the guts to ask for forgiveness. The truth: I would forgive him. From the bottom of my heart, I would forgive him”, he stated.

Finally, regarding the sanction, Sarr insisted that a person who has suffered racism should not be sanctioned. “I will be surprised if they sanction me, it is not fair, but I will have to accept it. I must apologize for what I did, for taking him by the scarf; but I didn’t do it for anything violent, I wanted to ask you. It’s a thing to learn. It is the first time that it happens to me. I was very angry, I wanted to defend my dignity. I apologize to all the football people, I only did it to protect myself and report it, it was the only way,” he concluded.

THE NATION

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