Valencia Walk Off Pitch vs. Cadiz After Alleged Racist Abuse of Mouctar Diakhaby

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2021

Valencia's Mouctar Diakhaby, right, clears with a header before Ajax's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, left, during the group H Champions League soccer match between Ajax and Valencia at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Players from Valencia walked off the pitch during Sunday's La Liga match against Cadiz after a racist comment was allegedly directed toward Mouctar Diakhaby, according to ESPN.

Per The Guardian's Sid Lowe, Diakhaby and Cadiz defender Juan Cala came together for a challenge and began going their separate directions before Diakhaby started walking back toward Cala.

Lowe wrote how cameras appeared to show Valencia defender Gabriel Paulista admonishing Cala for using the phrase "s--tty Black" in reference to his teammate.

The players eventually returned to finish out the match, with Cadiz earning a 2-1 victory. Diakhaby, however, was subbed off for Hugo Guillamon prior to the fixture restarting.


Mouctar Diakhaby was subject to alleged racial abuse from Cadiz's Juan Cala, and the entire Valencia team walked off the pitch in support of their teammate. #CadizValencia https://t.co/sdK2AuIBNi

Valencia defender Jose Gaya explained the situation with Movistar.

"Diakhaby told us he heard a racist insult so we all went off the pitch," Gaya said (via ESPN). "We were told that we had to play because if we didn't they would take the three points off us and maybe we'd be docked more points.

"Diakhaby asked us to play on, we wouldn't have done so if he hadn't done so. He said he wasn't in the right state of mind to keep playing. He is devastated."

Valencia also issued a statement to its Twitter account:

Valencia CF 🦇🍊🌊 @valenciacf_en

We offer our complete backing to @Diakhaby_5 The player, who had received a racial insult, requested that his teammates return to the pitch. WE SUPPORT YOU MOUCTAR 𝗡𝗢 𝗧𝗢 𝗥𝗔𝗖𝗜𝗦𝗠 ✊🏽✊🏿 https://t.co/iPtPSpdNYv

Cadiz issued its own statement to say it is "against all forms of racism or xenophobia, regardless of who is responsible, and work hard to help eradicate this."

"We have complete confidence in the integrity of our squad members, who are staunch supporters of the fight against racism and have at all times shown an exemplary attitude in every match the team has played," the club said.