Brazilian soccer star Everton Luiz exited a game against Rad Belgrade in tears following a racist verbal attack on Sunday (Feb. 19).
Though referees forced fans to put away one banner bearing an insulting message, rivals targeted the Partizan player, who joined the Serbian team last year, with “monkey chants” throughout the entire game. Scuffles ensued between the two teams when Luiz offered the middle finger to Rad supporters following the Partizan’s 1-0 victory, the Associated Press reports.
“My family and I feel at home in Serbia and this is why I could not stop the tears after the game,” Luiz said in a statement. “I took 90 minutes of racist abuse and other insults from the terraces and thereafter I found myself in a cauldron of emotionless individuals who charged at me when they should have protected me. I want to forget this, refocus on football and urge everyone to say ‘No’ to racism.”
According to AP, as of Monday (Feb. 20), the Serbian Football Association suspended Rad’s home stadium until further notice as a result of the abuse directed toward the footballer.