Richarlison has hit out at the ‘blah, blah, blah’ response to racist incidents in football after a banana was thrown at the Brazil forward during a friendly with Tunisia.
A banana was hurled at the Tottenham striker in the 19th minute at the Parc des Princes in Paris, as Richarlison, 25, ran to the corner flag to celebrate scoring his side’s second goal in a 5-1 win on Tuesday (27 September).
Footage showed Richarlison’s Brazil teammate Fred kicking the banana away.
Richarlison took to Twitter to respond to the incident after the match, writing: “As long as they keep saying ‘blah blah blah’ and don’t punish, it will continue like this, happening every day and everywhere. No time [for this], bro! #notoracism.”
Before the match, the Brazil team had posed for photographs with an anti-racism banner, which read, ‘Without our black players, we wouldn’t have stars on our shirts,’ in reference to the nation’s five World Cup triumphs.
The Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) later issued a statement on the Richarlison incident via Twitter.
“Unfortunately a banana was thrown on the pitch towards Richarlison, scorer of the second Brazilian goal,” the statement read. “The CBF reinforces its position to combat racism and repudiates any manifestation of prejudice.”
— Richarlison Andrade (@richarlison97) September 28, 2022
Richarlison’s goal restored Brazil’s lead after Montassar Talbi had cancelled out Raphinha’s opener.
Neymar then scored from the penalty spot before Raphinha added his second goal of the night, and Pedro rounded out the scoring after Dylan Bronn was sent off for Tunisia.
Kick It Out’s Troy Townsend questioned the reaction of FIFA following the incident.
He said at the ‘Is Sport Safe? Stamping out abuse in sport’ webinar: “The fact that the governing body of the game has yet to speak out about the incident that happened, tells me they think it’s acceptable, that it’s acceptable to abuse players without fear of consequence.”
Meanwhile, SpursREACH, a fan group who champion diversity and inclusivity, described the incident as “appalling”.
A statement from the Tottenham supporters’ organisation read: “The question is, what are FIFA, UEFA and CAF (Confederation of Africa Football), etc going to do?”
Additional reporting by PA