Portugal leaders rally around Porto player over racist slurs

Porto’s captain Ivan Marcano right, and Otavio, left, try to dissuade teammate Moussa Marega, center, from leaving the pitch after hearing monkey chants during a Portuguese league game. (AP Photo)
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Updated 18 February 2020

Portugal leaders rally around Porto player over racist slurs

  • Moussa Marega, a striker from Mali, was visibly angered by monkey noises targeting him after he scored Porto’s second goal in a 2-1 win at Guimaraes
  • Prime Minister Antonio Costa said all and any acts of racism are a crime and are intolerable

LISBON, Portugal: The president and the prime minister of Portugal added their voices Monday to a national outcry over racist abuse aimed at a black FC Porto footballer who walked off the field after hearing monkey chants.
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said he “vehemently condems any display of racism.” Prime Minister Antonio Costa said “all and any acts of racism are a crime and are intolerable.”
“No human being should be subjected to this humiliation,” wrote Costa, whose father was from Mozambique. “We cannot just stand by.”
Moussa Marega, a striker from Mali, was visibly angered by monkey noises targeting him after he scored Porto’s second goal in a 2-1 win at Guimaraes in the Portuguese league on Sunday. Several Porto and opposition players attempted to dissuade him from walking off the field in the 71st minute, when he demanded to be substituted.

Marega wrote on his Instagram account that “idiots” went to the stadium to shout racist insults.
He also lashed out at the referee, who gave Marega a yellow card, apparently for his refusal to continue playing. He said the referee should have defended Marega.


Ibrahimovic’s return to training with Sweden’s Hammarby sparks rumors about future

Updated 10 April 2020

Ibrahimovic’s return to training with Sweden’s Hammarby sparks rumors about future

STOCKHOLM: AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to training in Sweden with Hammarby, the club he part owns, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to lockdown Italy, has fueled speculation regarding his future.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported the 38-year-old Ibrahimovic will choose against renewing his Milan deal which finishes at the end of the season.

The Swedish outfit’s president, Richard Von Yxkull, said the decision was in the hands of the attacker who played 116 times for his country before retiring from international duty in 2016.

“It’s about knowing how Zlatan sees his future and what he wants to do,” Von Yxkull told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Earlier in April the Spanish, Italian, French and Dutch league winner said he wanted to stay in the game after retiring.

“I want to learn something new about football, with a different angle. I will contribute from the sidelines, not on the pitch,” he told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Ibrahimovic’s last Milan appearance was the loss to Genoa on March 8.

All football in Italy has been suspended due to the coronavirus which has claimed the lives of nearly 18,000 people in the country.

Measures to fight the outbreak in Sweden are lighter which have allowed Ibrahimovic to train with Stockholm’s Hammarby, a side which he bought a 25-percent share in last November.

Ibrahimovic started his career with hometown club Malmo before trophy-laden spells with some of the world’s biggest outfits including Juventus, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain before rejoining Milan in January.