Brazilian footballer in tears after racist chants in Serbia

One of Serbia's top football clubs, Partizan Belgrade, has condemned racist chanting during a match that reduced one of its players, Brazilian midfielder Everton Luiz, to tears.

Luiz, 28, saw his every touch greeted with monkey noises, the TV said, adding that the match was halted late on after some Rad fans brandished a banner insulting the Latin American midfielder, who won the Serbian Cup a year ago with Partizan.

The banner was removed after intervention by the referee.

"I've been suffering racist abuse during the entire 90 minutes and also was upset by the home players, who supported that".

Serbian football has been marred by several other racist incidents in recent years, not least when fans chanted abuse at England's black players at an under21 global match five years ago.

Rad fans abused Luiz throughout the ill-tempered match and a full-scale player brawl broke out when he retaliated with an obscene gesture after the final whistle. They were all attacking me. "I want to forget about it all as quickly as possible", Everton said on Sunday.

The Brazil midfielder is in his first season with the club and left the field in tears after his side's 1-0 win over local rivals Rad Beograd on Saturday.

Even with UEFA's best attempts to "Say No to Racism", bigotry and European soccer fandom unfortunately still go hand in hand.

Partizan coach Marko Nikolic hinted Luiz could face disciplinary action for his reaction, but said the opposition fans should also be punished.

"Due to the misbehaviour of their fans who racially insulted a player, Rad's stadium has been suspended until the Serbian Football Association (FSS) passes a verdict", the league's commissioner Vladimir Bulatovic said.

  • Julie Sanders