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Brazilian team Santos says 2 players racially abused during Copa match in Chile

Chile's Audax Italiano players celebrate at the end of a Copa Sudamericana Group E soccer match against Brazil's Santos at El Teniente stadium in Rancagua, Chile, Wednesday, May 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian soccer club Santos said Thursday that two of its players were racially abused by fans during the team’s 2-1 loss to Audax Italiano in a Copa Sudamericana match at the Chilean team's stadium.

Santos said in a statement that defender Joaquim and striker Ângelo, who are Black, “were verbally abused” and harassed by local fans “making monkey gestures” during a group-stage match Wednesday night in the city of Rancagua.

The Brazilian club said it had brought its complaints to South American soccer body CONMEBOL, which has opened a case on the issue.

Another racist incident at a Copa Sudamericana match took place Tuesday night in Argentina during the game between Colombia's Independiente Santa Fé and local team Gimnasia la Plata.

Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega, who is Black, said he faced racial insults from local fans.

“We are not improving as mankind, this is a disaster all over the world. It is very sad to come here and this happen," Rodallega told the official broadcaster after his team's 1-0 defeat. “We didn't lose the match because of those people, but this issue of racism tires us."

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