Espanyol's Sergio Garcia reportedly racially abused Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti in their 1-1 draw with their local rivals on Sunday.
According to Sport, sources at Barcelona said Garcia called Umtiti a "black s--t," which sparked an argument between the pair that continued in the tunnel after the match and required them to be separated by Blaugrana captain Gerard Pique.
Per Marca's Luis F. Rojo, Garcia entered Barcelona's dressing room at the RCDE Stadium after the situation had calmed down to offer an apology to Umtiti, which was accepted.
The same outlet noted referee Jesus Gil Manzano did not see any problematic altercations in the tunnel in his report: "At the end of the match when we entered the tunnel, we found a group of players and staff from each club talking to each other. However, we didn't observe any kind of aggression."
As football journalist Rik Sharma noted, Garcia had clashed with Umtiti on numerous occasions during the match:
Pique scored in the 82nd minute to pull Barca level in difficult weather conditions, after Gerard Moreno had broken the deadlock earlier in the second half:
Per Martin Domin of the Mirror, Pique stoked the fires between the two clubs earlier this year. After they met twice in the Copa del Rey in January, he referred to them as "Espanyol from Cornella," in reference to the suburb of Barcelona in which they play.
"Cornella is a suburb of Barcelona, where the Cornella-El Prat stadium has been Espanyol's home since 2009, with Pique's implication being the club do not deserve to be considered Barca's rivals," Domin explained.
Umtiti has been a revelation since he joined Barcelona from Lyon in 2016. Football journalist Rafael Hernandez hailed him after his performance in the club's 1-0 win over Valencia on Thursday:
The defender will miss Barca's next La Liga outing, though. He picked up a booking for dissent against Espanyol (his fifth yellow card of the season) and will be suspended for the game against Getafe at the Camp Nou next Sunday.