La Liga news

Spain FA chief denies racism problem

October 10, 2012
By ESPN staff

Spanish football does not have a problem with racism, according to the president of the nation's federation.

Spain
APAngel Maria Villar became RFEF president in 1987

The Spanish governing body (RFEF) was fined €20,000 after Italy striker Mario Balotelli was racially abused by some of the country's supporters during Euro 2012, while several of England's black footballers have been subjected to abuse from the stands when they have played with the national team in Spain over the past decade.

However, when Angel Maria Villar was asked how the problem of racism in Spain compared to England, he replied: "There is no racism in Spanish football."

Villar gave the same answer when reminded of former Spain coach Luis Aragones being caught using a racist term to describe Thierry Henry back in 2004.

Barcelona defender Dani Alves and former Barca striker Samuel Eto'o have both spoken out about the issue in the past.

Last year, Alves - who has spent a decade of his career in Spain having formerly plied his trade at Sevilla - said he was resigned to the issue remaining unresolved.

The Brazilian said: "The clubs and the league try to do some things to stop it. They try to punish the clubs, but it is uncontrollable. It will not go away."