What's Buzzing:

Brazilian player racially abused after match

AP - Sports

SAO PAULO (AP) -- Fans yelled racist insults at a Brazilian soccer player being interviewed by reporters after a match, the latest case of racism to hit the country that will host the World Cup in a few months.

Santos midfielder Arouca, who played for Brazil's national team last year, was on the field talking to reporters after his team's 5-2 win in the Sao Paulo state championship on Thursday when some fans in the stands called him ''monkey.''

The insults came a day after a referee said he was targeted by racist fans before and after a match, and less than a month after another Brazilian player was insulted in a Copa Libertadores game in Peru.

''It's better to block that out, better not to listen to these people, if you can actually call them people,'' said the 27-year-old Arouca, who scored one of Santos' goals in the interior city of Mogi Mirim. ''It's hard to talk about what is happening these days. It's tough, but we know it happens, not only in soccer. I just hope someone can do something serious about it because it's lamentable.''

While still talking to reporters, Arouca kept looking at the stands to try to find the fans who yelled at him. Reporters later said the insults came from a group of three or four Mogi Mirim fans.

Brazil has been making headlines for the wrong reasons as it tries to get ready for the World Cup. In addition to problems finishing stadiums and infrastructure work, the country has also been dealing with several cases of fan violence and court disputes that threaten to delay this year's Brazilian league because of a controversial sports tribunal decision that altered the results of last year's tournament.

''We can't let something like this happen, especially with the World Cup just around the corner,'' Santos coach Oswaldo de Oliveira said after the insults to Arouca. ''These people need to be punished.''

Police officials said they would try to find the fans responsible.

On Wednesday, referee Marcio Chagas da Silva said some fans called him ''monkey'' and told him to ''return to the jungle'' before a match in the Rio Grande do Sul state championship. He said his car was vandalized and bananas were left on top of it.

''Unfortunately, this type of attitude is still happening in this country,'' Silva said.

Last month, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff gave her support to a black Brazilian player who was taunted with monkey chants every time he touched the ball during a Copa Libertadores match in Peru. On her Twitter feed, Rousseff called the incident involving Cruzeiro player Tinga ''sad,'' adding that ''sports can never serve as a stage for prejudice.''

Racist behavior is a longstanding problem at matches in Europe. FIFA has sponsored anti-racism campaigns that have had modest levels of success, and it has promised to raise more awareness during this year's World Cup.

---

Follow Tales Azzoni at https://twitter.com/tazzoni

View Comments (0)
  • Cricket-England captain Alastair Cook

    Factbox on England captain Alastair Cook, who became the first English batsman to score 10,000 runs in test matches in the second test against Sri Lanka on Monday. *Scored an unbeaten 104 on test debut against India at Nagpur in 2006, and made his … More »

    Reuters - 5 minutes ago
  • Mexican striker Pulido rescued after kidnap, in good health

    Mexican striker Pulido rescued after kidnap, in good health

    Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido was rescued within a day of his kidnapping in the restive northeastern state of Tamaulipas after he was able to make a phone call and alert authorities of his location, a state official said on Monday. The … More »

    Reuters - 14 minutes ago
  • Slovakia include Skriniar in Euro 2016 squad

    Slovakia include Skriniar in Euro 2016 squad

    BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Sampdoria defender Milan Skriniar was named in Slovakia's squad for Euro 2016 on Monday, three days after making his full international debut. The 21-year-old's inclusion, despite playing only three matches for Sampdoria … More »

    Reuters - 56 minutes ago
  • Rashford signs long-term contract with Man United

    Rashford signs long-term contract with Man United

    (Reuters) - Striker Marcus Rashford has signed a new contract at Manchester United which will keep him at Old Trafford until 2020 with an option to extend for a further year, the club said on their website(www.manutd.com) on Monday. The 18-year-old … More »

    Reuters - 58 minutes ago
  • Teenage star Rashford signs new Man United deal through 2020

    Teenage star Rashford signs new Man United deal through 2020

    Marcus Rashford signed a new contract with Manchester United through June 2020, a reward for the teenage striker's breakthrough this season that could earn him a place in England's European Championship squad. United announced the deal on Monday, … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 0 minutes ago