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Richarlison: Racist abuse will continue ‘every day and everywhere’ if unpunished

Richarlison during the international friendly against Tunisia (Christophe Ena/AP)
Richarlison during the international friendly against Tunisia (Christophe Ena/AP)

Tottenham forward Richarlison believes racism will continue happening “every day and everywhere” unless punishment is handed out following his own experience of abuse during Brazil’s friendly win over Tunisia in Paris on Tuesday.

A banana was thrown at the former Everton player in the 19th minute after he ran towards the corner flag to celebrate scoring his side’s second goal in a 5-1 win at the Parc des Princes.

Footage showed Manchester United midfielder Fred kicking the banana away, while other objects were also thrown onto the pitch.

Translated from Portuguese, Richarlison posted on Twitter: “As long as they stay ‘blah blah blah’ and don’t punish, it’s going to continue like this, happening every day and everywhere. No time bro!”

The 25-year-old received plenty of messages of support on social media, including from former clubs America Mineiro and Fluminense.

Prior to the game, five-time world champions Brazil had posed for photographs with an anti-racism banner which read, ‘Without our black players, we wouldn’t have stars on our shirts’.

The Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) later issued a statement via Twitter condemning the abuse of Richarlison and calling for strong punishments.

It read: “After Brazil’s second goal, a banana was thrown towards Richarlison. The CBF reinforces its stance against discrimination and vehemently repudiates yet another episode of racism in football.

“Whether on or off the field, attitudes like this cannot be tolerated.”

CBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues added: “Once again, I come publicly to express my rejection. This time I saw it with my own eyes. This shocks us. We must always remember that we are all the same, regardless of colour, race or religion.

“The fight against racism is not a cause, but a fundamental (battle for) change to wipe this type of crime from the planet. I insist on saying that the punishments need to be more severe.”

Richarlison’s goal had put Brazil back ahead after Montassar Talbi cancelled out Raphinha’s opener. Neymar added a penalty, Raphinha claimed his second and Pedro wrapped up the scoring after Tunisia had Dylan Bronn sent off.

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, an fans supporters’ 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?”