Shakhtar’s Taison sent off after reacting to alleged racist abuse in league game
Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Taison was sent off after reacting to alleged racist abuse during his side’s 1-0 home win against Dynamo Kiev.
Brazil international Taison gestured to the away fans and then kicked the ball into their section of the stand before the referee led all the players off the field in the 77th minute.
Video footage shows Taison and Brazilian team-mate Dentinho leaving the field in tears after both had allegedly been targeted, while they were consoled by several Dynamo Kiev players.
Taison was shown the red card by the referee immediately after the match had resumed.
Shakhtar manager Luis Castro did not appear for his post-match press conference, but said in a statement that the racist abuse had been “a disgrace”.
“My players have once again shown their character,” Castro said. “They were showing the character throughout the game.
“At this moment, I want to support absolutely everyone suffering from racism and the guys who have suffered today.
“Any manifestations of racism are absolutely unacceptable. It was, is, and will be a disgrace to everyone. Together, we must fight it – every day, every minute, and every second. Thank you.”
Dynamo said in a statement that the club would not tolerate racism, but stopped short of condemning their fans.
They said the club would co-operate fully if the Ukrainian National Football Association launched an investigation.
“Sharing the concern of our Donetsk colleagues regarding the issue of observing human morality in the sports arenas, we consider hasty the allegation of a pre-determined guilt of the fans, when the investigation into the circumstances of this case has not even begun,” the statement said.
“We look forward to the start of the investigation, ready to assist it comprehensively and, if proven guilty, will take all possible steps to further isolate these individuals not only from football but also from society.
“We look forward to the release of photos and videos that could shed light on all the circumstances of the incident.”
Brescia forward Mario Balotelli kicked the ball into the crowd after claiming he had been targeted during his side’s defeat at Serie A rivals Verona last week.
The former Liverpool and Manchester City striker also threatened to walk off the pitch, while Verona have been handed a partial stadium ban.