Vitoria Guimarães were entertaining FC Porto whose striker Moussa Marega, scorer of what turned out to be the winning goal, was the subject of racist abuse from the home supporters and refused to play on.
As he stormed off the pitch, his Porto teammates and manager Sérgio Conceição, as well as the Guimarães players, tried to persuade him to change his mind. They might have done better to have supported him and left the field in an act of solidarity against the insidious racist chants that have no place in today’s society. Marega was resolute in his decision, however, and ended up being substituted.
After the game Porto issued a brief press release stating that: ‘The entire FC Porto organisation and its fans fully support Moussa Marega, who was forced to take drastic action in the wake of repeated racist insults. FC Porto repudiates and vehemently condemns the racist behaviour this afternoon, which comprises one of the lowest points in the recent history of Portuguese football and must be duly punished’.
Incredibly the V.Guimarães president Miguel Pinto said that while his club condemns discriminatory behaviour he suggested that Marega was at fault for provoking the fans. João Paulo Rebelo, Secretary of State for Youth and Sport issued the following statement: “What happened in the match between Vitória de Guimarães Sport Clube and FC Porto is absolutely intolerable and unacceptable. The insults directed at the player Marega shame all those who fight for an inclusive society. The values of sport have nothing to do with these racist, xenophobic and appalling attitudes. The Authority for Prevention and Combat against Violence in Sport is already working with the police and sports authorities to identify and punish those responsible for this sad episode”.