Valencia players walk off after alleged racism

Valencia players walked off the pitch in the 29th minute of their La Liga clash with Cadiz on Sunday after Mouctar Diakhaby was the victim of an alleged racist comment.

The score was 1-1 when Diakhaby was involved in an altercation with Cadiz’s Juan Cala. Valencia’s Gabriel Paulista then kicked the ball out of play and the players from both sides walked off the pitch.

Following a short break, the players returned to the pitch, but Diakhaby did not return and Hugo Guillamon came on in his place.

“We offer our complete backing to Mouctar Diakhaby,” a tweet posted on Valencia’s page read. “The player, who had received a racial insult, requested that his teammates return to the pitch. WE SUPPORT YOU MOUCTAR. NO TO RACISM.”

Diakhaby was seen watching the remainder of the first half from the stands.

After the match, Valencia defender Jose Gaya said the team was told to return to the pitch.

“Diakhaby told us he heard a racist insult so we all went off the pitch. We were told that we had to play because if we didn’t they would take the three points off us and maybe we’d be docked more points,” Gaya told Spanish network Movistar.

“Diakhaby asked us to play on, we wouldn’t have done so if he hadn’t done so. He said he wasn’t in the right state of mind to keep playing. He is devastated.”

La Liga did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Gaya’s suggestion that his side had been urged to play on.

Cadiz could not immediately be reached for comment.

Gaya said he had heard the comment Cala made to Diakhaby.

He added: “It was a very ugly insult which I won’t repeat. We haven’t been able to speak with Cala because he was the last player to leave the pitch. I’m certain that he said something. It was a very strange game.”

Cala had put Cadiz ahead on 14 minutes, before Kevin Gameiro equalised for Valencia five minutes later. Marcos Mauro scored in the 88th to give Cadiz the 2-1 win.

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