Champions League

Cops arrest banana-thrower

2014-04-30 15:03
Dani Alves (AFP)

Madrid - Spanish police said on Wednesday they have laid criminal charges against a football fan for throwing a banana at Barcelona defender Dani Alves, a slur that has sparked a global storm of anti-racist protest.

VIDEO: Dani Alves eats banana thrown onto field

The Spanish authorities arrested the young man Tuesday, two days after the ugly incident put racism in Spanish football under a harsh spotlight, unleashing condemnation worldwide including from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

The suspect, who has been named and pilloried on social media but has not been identified by the authorities, was charged on the same day with an offence against civil rights and liberties before being released, a police spokesperson said.

If found guilty, he could face a sentence of up to three years in prison.

The banana landed on the pitch near the 30-year-old Brazilian international as he was about to take a corner during Barcelona's away match against Villarreal on Sunday night.

Alves won praise for his reaction, picking up the banana to take a bite before getting on with the game and setting up a goal in Barcelona's dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 victory.

Villarreal condemned the incident and said they had identified the culprit, withdrawing his club membership and permanently banning him from their ground.

"The player Dani Alves gave a daring and strong response to racism in sports," Brazil's leader said in a series of Twitter messages after the match.

Blatter also reacted on Twitter, saying: "What @DaniAlves2 tolerated last night is an outrage. We must fight all forms of discrimination united. Will be zero tolerance at #World Cup."

The FIFA boss spread his anti-racism message Wednesday to the United States after the NBA banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life for racist comments.

"Sport says no to racism. I fully support @NBA's decision to ban @LAClippers owner for life after his racist words," Blatter said.

Much of the football world stood behind Alves.

Outraged at his teammate's treatment, Neymar posted on Twitter with the hashtag #somostodosmacacos, (we are all monkeys).

He then sent a photo showing him eating a banana holding his two-year-old son, who was clutching a banana-shaped soft toy.

Chelsea's Brazilian stars Oscar, David Luiz and Willian also posted to social media while Manchester City's Argentinian star Sergio Aguero tweeted a picture of himself and Brazilian five-time world female player of the year Marta both eating a banana.

Football's world and European governing bodies FIFA and UEFA have repeatedly tried to campaign against racism and last November, Blatter said he was "sickened" to see some Real Betis supporters make monkey chants at their own player, Brazilian defender Paulao, in a city derby against Sevilla.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said on Tuesday he regretted that some people had used football to launch a racist message.

"It is not everyone. I want to think these are isolated incidents. In football there is no racism, not at all," Del Bosque said, ruling out any impact on the Spain team from the fallout of the scandal.

In an interview with AFP, Alfredo Relano, the editor of major sports daily AS, said many people in Spain did not believe there was any racism because in the past there had been relatively few people of other races in the country.

"As people from elsewhere have been coming in, it has started showing up," he said, referring to the banana-throwing slur as "unacceptable".

"I think there is racism in Spain and we have to fix it. The strong reaction from outside was very present in England some time ago and they followed it up very seriously. I think we have to follow it up with rigour."

Read more on:    dani alves  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 21:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 21:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 21:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 21:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.