We are all monkeys: Neymar after racial abuse on Barca star

Last Updated 29 April 2014, 11:01 IST

Frustrated that racism is still prevalent in world football, Brazilian sensation Neymar has called himself and the ones subjected to discrimination on the basis of skin colour, nationality and ethnicity, "monkeys", following Barcelona defender Dani Alves' sensible handling of abuse during a La Liga game.

Coming out in support of Alves, club team-mate and compatriot Neymar posted a photograph of himself on Instagram holding a banana while writing "We are all monkeys".

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter has issued a stern warning that no act of racial discrimination will be tolerated in the World Cup, following the incident for which Alves is receiving support of the global football community.

"What Dani Alves tolerated last night is an outrage. We must fight all forms of discrimination. Will be zero tolerance at World Cup," Blatter wrote on his twitter handle.
The incident happened during the Catalan giants' away game at Villareal in the Spanish League last Sunday.

Just as he was about to take a corner kick, a section of crowd at El Madrigal threw a banana onto the pitch in front of Alves.

In an unconventional response, Alves picked up the banana, peeled it off and took a bite before proceeding to take the corner kick.

The football community rallied around Alves after the unfortunate incident.

Manchester City star Sergio Aguero turned to twitter to support Alves and so did former England striker Gary Lineker, who described Alves' response as "brilliant".

Argentina striker Aguero posted a picture of him and Brazil women's superstar Marta taking a bite from bananas, accompanied with the message: "With my colleague Marta from Brazil we say #NoToRacism. We are all equal".

Togo and Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor wrote on his Twitter account: "Massive respect to danid2ois, there is no place for Racism in Football. £saynotoracism."

Alves himself had said he was "now used to the abuse after 11 years in Spain" and tends to treat such incidents "with a dose of humour".

Compatriots Hulk, Fred and Lucas Leiva extended their support too, with the Liverpool midfielder writing on twitter: "Congratulations on your attitude yesterday. We are together on this fight against racism."

(Published 29 April 2014, 10:58 IST)

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