Porto (Portugal) – FC Porto striker Moussa Marega left the pitch in protest at being subjected to racist insults during his side’s 2-1 win away to Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal’s Primeira Liga on Sunday.
The 28-year-old Mali forward scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 60th minute.
He celebrated the goal by pointing to his skin in response to a section of the home fans who had targeted him throughout the match.
The player was shown a yellow card for the reaction and after the abuse continued he tried to leave the pitch, pointing his thumbs down to the crowd.
But he was restrained by his team mates for a number of minutes.
FC Porto coach Sergio Conceicao was eventually forced to substitute Marega in the 72nd minute.
“We are completely indignant,” Conceicao told reporters.
“They insulted Marega since the warm-up. We are all a family here, regardless of our nationality, skin colour, height or the colour of our hair and we all deserve respect.
“What happened here is outrageous.
“I know the fans here are very passionate about their club and many fans are not represented by some of the people who were in the crowd today.”
Marega later posted a message on Instagram calling the supporters who targeted him as “idiots”.
“I’d also like to show my thanks to the referee who did not defend me and who gave me a yellow card for defending the colour of my skin.
“I hope I never meet you on a football pitch ever again. You are a disgrace,” he added.
Porto’s director of communications Francisco Marques added on his own Twitter account: “Marega was fed up and left the pitch and FC Porto was forced to make a substitution due to racism.”
Portuguese newspaper A Bola reported that no FC Porto players spoke to the media after the game in solidarity with Marega.
Vitoria coach Ivo Vieira said he did not want to comment on the incident as he was not sure about what had happened.
“I prefer not to speak about a situation without being aware of all the facts. But if the player was provoked, then he should not have been,” he said.
FC Porto are second in the Portuguese top flight, trailing leaders Benfica by a point after 21 games.