English Premiership

Liverpool's Reina in race row

2012-03-01 18:16
Pepe Reina (File)

London - Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina on Thursday faced accusations of racism over a television commercial in his native Spain but the insurance company which made the advert denied it was offensive.

The allegations come after Liverpool were widely criticised for their reaction to the eight-match ban handed to Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

Reina came under fire from anti-racism campaigners Operation Black Vote (OBV) over the advertisement for the Spanish division of Groupama, showing the player in a jungle being greeted by a spear-carrying tribe and their chief.

With the goalkeeper's name translated as "queen" in Spanish, the chief appears to suggest a sexual relationship with him by saying "You queen, me king" to which Reina raises his eyebrows and sarcastically replies: "I feel safe, la la la."

OBV director Simon Woolley said: "I'm shocked on so many levels.

"Firstly, how would the Spanish feel if the English stereotyped Spanish people as backward, stupid, and animalistic homosexuals?

"Secondly, what does this say about Pepe Reina?

"The Liverpool goalkeeper has lived and worked in the UK for nearly a decade, does he think it's okay to characterise black people this way?

"Does he think his black team-mates will laugh at his joke?"

A spokesperson for the Spanish division of Groupama said it had only received one complaint over the commercial and denied it had been taken off air in response.

"We received complaints from just one association, which is based in England," the spokesperson said.

"We have not received any other similar comments from anywhere. We have received messages that liked the ad, including some asking for it to be dubbed into English.

"The Spanish division of Groupama does not consider that it has any type of offensive content.

"It is a humorous line that we have been developing for two campaigns, including with other goalkeepers such as (Iker) Casillas.

"There was no intention to hurt anyone's feelings.

"The advert is no longer on television but not because we pulled it but rather because the campaign was planned for February 2-29 and it has already ended."

Liverpool - who won their first trophy for six years when they lifted the League Cup on Sunday - were not immediately available for comment but the club was reported to be unaware of Reina's involvement in the commercial.

Read more on:    epl  |  pepe reina

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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

29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
31 October 2016
Stoke City v Swansea City, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

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.