The Real Madrid full back Marcelo and his young son were both racially abused in a manner that has seen Spanish Football once again come under intense pressure.
Marcelo did not feature in the game itself, as Real Madrid beat City rivals Atleico in a superb 3-0 win in the Kings Cup Semi Final at the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, what should have been a night of celebrations for the defender himself turned horrfically sour, during the routine warm-down after the fixture had concluded.
At that stage, the only supporters left in the ground were around 500 or so Atletico supporters, based up in the gods of the historic stadium.
As the fullback ran in the direction of the supporters, he was verbally abused, as the supporters launched an attack on him, with Monkey chants ringing around the almost empty stadium.
Sky Sports Spanish Football pundit Graham Hunter was also present in the game, performing Media duties in the press box.
Following the abuse to Marcelo himself, his young son came out to join his father, and Atletico supporters shamefully turned on him….
The pundit claimed that he heard the taunts, and stated to Sky Sports News.
“The reserve players from Madrid were out, running up and down, doing the warm-down and Marcelo was one of them,”
“Atletico fans were kept in the stadium, quite a common occurrence in England and Spain, and it was at that point they started to make monkey noises towards Marcelo.
“They echoed around the empty stadium and I think for all of us who love Spanish football, it’s time for us to speak out against this.
“Marcelo turned hands on hips, looked up at them, way up at the top of the stands here, shook his head in bewilderment and didn’t react.
“The monkey noises continued, louder and louder. It so happened the warm-down was finishing and a young child, who I take to be Marcelo’s child, was on the sidelines and ran into his arms. The Atletico fans then sang ‘Marcelo is a monkey’ and also sang ‘we hope your dad dies’.
“The game was rumbustious, it was a derby, but by the end the players all walked off and shook hands – it was all professional – and then there was the clear cut, unacceptable, exhibition of the type of racism some fans in Spain still think is acceptable.
“I don’t want to pre-judge (any punishment). There isn’t a cultural awareness here that there is in Britain, I don’t feel. There were only a few of us in the media gallery who were able to hear it.
“I’m not certain whether Marcelo will ask Real Madrid to act and demand action for this, but I hope by bringing it to the attention of the authorities…that they will begin to clamp down on fans, punish them and educate them.”
Spain has tried, and failed to tackle racial abuse to black players in La Liga, with several of it’s stars complaining about awful monkey jibes coming from the terraces.
Samuel Eto’o, Ronaldinho and several others have made their voices heard to the powers that be, but still this is an unwritten taboo in Spain, something that thankfully has become a rare occurance in Britain.
England players were subjected to those kind of chants in an international friendly game against Spain at the Bernabeu in a 1-0 defeat in 2004, with the likes of Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell, Emile Heskey and Jermaine Defoe were all targeted.
By Ben Reardon