Game suspended after "Nazi" insults against player

Unprecedented in Spanish football: on Sunday the referees decided to suspend a second-league match between Rayo Vallecano and Albacete at half-time. Rayo fans had repeatedly aimed chants at an Albacete player whom they accused of being a neo-Nazi. Are double standards being applied with football fans in Spain?

Open/close all quotes
El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Racism must be punished too

The insults of left-wing extremist fans must not be punished more severely than the far more frequent racist hate speeches of far-right hooligans, warns El Periódico de Catalunya:

“In the recent past there have often been attacks that could have been punished in the same way under the 2007 Sports Act: from racism and xenophobia (against Amunike, Eto'o or Iñaki Williams, to name just a few players of colour) to intolerance (against Piqué or Messi) to misogynistic behaviour or calls for violence. ... This weekend's incident should serve as a precedent: there have been far more violent episodes and expressions of hatred that were just or even more unacceptable than those in Vallecas, without this having elicited a correspondingly harsh response. Applying double standards is unjustified and unacceptable.”

Le Courrier (CH) /

Club management wanted to discredit vexatious fans

Le Courrier suspects vested interests were behind the decision to stop the match:

“Too bad such fine words have never applied to the openly racist chanting, fascistic flags, homophobic insults and sexist banners that regularly crop up in Spanish stadiums. Clearly there's a political and financial background to the decision. For the club's owner Raúl Martín Presa, who was in favour of the match being interrupted, it was a perfect opportunity to discredit the unwieldy fans who for years have been resisting the transformation of their club Rayo Vallecano into a lucrative business.”

ABC (ES) /

Stadiums aren't Roman circuses

ABC argues that the tough crackdown should set a precedent:

“Strict adherence to standards, rigorous application of appropriate penalties against repeated hate slogans from the fan blocs and the basic task of the clubs in identifying and expelling subjects who have gone haywire could contribute enormously to banishing this embarrassing practice from the stadiums. There are still individuals who believe they are visiting a kind of Roman circus where they trample on the dignity and human rights of the protagonists of the spectacle.”