Athletic Club Bilbao captain Iker Muniain has confirmed the team has discussed walking off the pitch should any player suffer racial insults.
Athletic Club forward Inaki Williams was subjected to racial insults from a number of Espanyol fans after he was substituted off during the recent league draw at the RCDE Stadium.
Born in Bilbao to Ghanaian parents, Williams has blossomed into one of Athletic’s star players – making 232 first-team appearances to date – and has frequently spoken out about the scourge of racism.
Williams told Movistar that he and his teammates are prepared to walk off the pitch in case of racism in the future.
Leaving the pitch during a game would be a significant statement and this stance from the Basque club shows how seriously they are treating the possibility.
“The racist insults that were there are not liked by anyone and they are from a minority,” Muniain is cited as telling Cadena Cope.
“We also received a warm welcome and the good work of fans in Tenerife, where Inaki was applauded and that was a nice moment.
“It is a topic we have discussed in the dressing room and we hope that we never more those insults happen.”
It is claimed that La Liga will move to modernise complaints of racial abuse as they encourage players to inform the referee directly should they hear any such insults from fans.
La Liga president Javier Tebas described the racist incidents towards the forward in January as a ‘backwards step for Spanish football’, while Espanyol also confirmed they would be launching an investigation into the source of chanting and promised to ban those involved.