FC Barcelona on Wednesday condemned racist insults hurled at its Nigerian player James Nnaji before the final of the Spanish Basketball Championship, which the Catalan club won at Real Madrid.
“FC Barcelona strongly condemns the racist insults suffered by first-team basketball player James Nnaji, prior to game N.3 of the final,” Barça wrote in a statement.
“The club, which has already informed the competition organisers of what happened, expects a firm and exemplary response from the ACB (Spanish Basketball League, Editor’s note) against any racial or verbal insults”, the Catalan club continues.
Footage of the arrival of the FC Barcelona coach at the WiZink centre in Madrid, where the match was taking place, shows several Madrid fans hurling insults at the Barcelona players.
According to the local press, Nnaji was subjected to racist insults.
“I want to talk about what happened here with James Nnaji, I think it’s a regrettable thing. I hear a lot about Vinicius (Real Madrid’s Brazilian footballer, editor’s note), and now we’re the ones who must talk about what’s going on,” said Barcelona coach Sarunas Jasikevicius after the match.
“This has to stop now. It doesn’t go, I suppose, with the values of Real Madrid and its supporters, and we must be very angry about it,” he added.
Footballer Vinícius Jr has been the victim of racist insults on several occasions. The most recent incident dates to a match played in Valencia on May 23, which caused an outcry and triggered a wave of support for Real Madrid’s Brazilian striker.
On the pitch, FC Barcelona clinched their 20th Spanish league title on Tuesday evening with a 93-82 victory at Real, after winning the first two games of the final.