The midfielder for Partizan Belgrade, Everton Luiz, departed from the football field in Serbia in tears after constant racist abuse from supporters of his team’s local rivals, Rad.
Luiz, 28 years old, was consistently taunted and jeered at every time he had touched the football, as fans made monkey noises, even unfurling a banner that insulted him near the final minutes of the match.
Abuse and Returned Provocation
Once the final whistle blew, Luiz then stuck his middle finger up at the Rad fans, who immediately reacting with anger, which prompted the players of the home team to walk over and confront him.
It was then that a full on brawl began to break out, prompting police to intervene and try to prevent tensions from mounting as Luiz went on to the dressing room, completely in tears.
Partizan had won the game 1-0, leaving them second on the table, a six points behind Red Star Belgrade.
After the game, he stated: “I couldn’t hold back the tears as I had to face racist insults from the terraces for 90 minutes.
“I was even more shocked by the attitude of opposing players who, instead of calming things down, backed this behaviour.”
Coach Response and Previous Abuse
Partizan’s coach Marko Nikolic, who was formerly fired by the Slovenian Olimpija Ljubljana in April of last year for previous racial abuse of one of his own team’s players, said that he believe Luiz will face further disciplinary action from his club.
Nonetheless, he hopes Serbia’s football authorities will punish Rad’s abusive supporters as well.
He stated: “Everton should not have reacted but something provoked his outburst, didn’t it?
“Both sides in the incident should be punished. These things happen in football but it is now up to the authorities to sanction the offenders. It’s a return to the reality of Serbian football.”