The Barcelona Hate Crimes Prosecutor’s Office has charged two RCD Espanyol fans for directing racist insults to Athletic Club striker Inaki Williams during a match at the RCDE Stadium on January 25th, 2019.
The complaint, revealed by Europa Press and carried in Diario AS, explains how upon being substituted the player “received from a sector of the stands shouts of contempt towards him with the undoubted intention of humiliating and damaging his dignity with racist intent.”
Miguel Angel Aguilar, the coordinator of the Barcelona Hate Crimes Prosecutor’s Office, detailed in the complaint that several fans shouted “uh, uh, uh, uh” at the player, “onomatopoeia that imitates the noise made by monkeys and that, as is publicly-known and notorious, has been directed on various occasions by groups of fans in different countries to undermine the dignity of black footballers.”
To identify the fans who allegedly directed the racist insults at Williams Espanyol were obliged to collect the security images from the day and hone in on the location the shouts came from before identifying the corresponding ticket holders.
Three people – a minor and two adults – were identified according to the Mossos d’Esquadra report and summoned to testify at the police station. Of the two adults, one availed of their right not to answer and the other didn’t turn up.
The prosecutor consider the events to constitute an alleged crime against the exercise of fundamental rights and public freedoms in the form of injury to the dignity of the person due to discrimination based on their nationality or national origin, and asks the Court of Instruction 2 of Cornella to Llobregat responsible for the location of the stadium to open proceedings.
This is the first complaint the Barcelona Hate Crimes Prosecutor’s Office has filed for racist insults at a football match.
Williams was born in Bilbao to Ghanaian parents who reached Spain by crossing the desert on foot and jumping the Melilla border fence.
Featured image courtesy of Goal.