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SBD Global/April 30, 2014/International Football

Barcelona's Dani Alves Slams Spain As 'Backward' Following Racist Incident

Barcelona's Dani Alves has "hit out at Spain for being 'very backward' in its approach towards racism and believes the fan who hurled a banana on the pitch in Barcelona's game away to Villarreal on Sunday should be publicly shamed," according to Tim Hanlon of REUTERS. Villarreal subsequently announced that it had "given the supporter a life ban but Alves, who has criticised the level of racism in Spain before, felt it was not enough." Alves: "If I could, I would put a photo of the fan on the Internet so that he would be shamed. There is racism against foreigners. They sell the country as being first world but in certain things they are very backward" (REUTERS, 4/29).

EIGHTH INCIDENT: The EP reported Spain's Interior Ministry has counted eight incidents of "racism, xenophobia or intolerance at football stadiums" that have occurred during the '13-14 season. Sanctions corresponding to these incidents have fined 23 fans from €3,001-€4,000 ($4,100-$5,500) and "issued bans from stadiums for a total of six months" (EP, 4/29).

ALVES' FATHER REACTS: The AFP reported Alves' father, Domingo, said that he would respond to the incident by "planting bananas." He said, "I plant mangoes, coconuts, melons, watermelons, passionfruit -- and now I'm going to plant bananas" (AFP, 4/30).

ASPROCAN APPLAUSE: The EFE reported the Canary Islands' Association of Banana Producers (ASPROCAN) on Tuesday "applauded the gestures of those who used the fruit on social media to speak out against racism and intolerance." ASPROCAN said in a statement, "We want to bring together these two football clubs, their fans and the thousands who have expressed their disgust with what happened, showing that sports remains an exceptional example of coexistence and respect" (EFE, 4/29).
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