Tottenham forward Richarlison was racially abused during Brazil’s 5-1 over Tunisia on Tuesday. A fan threw a banana at the Brazilian while he celebrated after scoring his team’s second goal of the match. The broadcast showed Richarlison’s teammate Fred kicking the banana away. Although the match featured teams from South America and Africa, it was played in Paris.

The Brazil team took photographs before the match while holding an anti-racism banner. The sign read: “Without our black players, we wouldn’t have stars on our shirts.” Brazil won the World Cup a record five times.

After the match, Richarlison demanded action on the issue. “As long as they keep ‘blah blah blah’ and don’t punish, it’s going to continue like this, happening every day and everywhere,” claimed the player via Twitter.

FIFA, the governing body of the sport, published a statement condemning racism. “First and foremost, FIFA strongly rejects any form of racism and violence and has a very clear zero tolerance stance against such behavior in football,” the spokesperson said. “FIFA will investigate the incident in yesterday’s game in Paris.”

Brazilian Richarlison racially abused against Tunisia in Paris, France

Piara Powar, executive director of the anti-racism Fare network, has claimed that justice could unfortunately get complicated. “This is an intercontinental friendly – between Tunisia, who are with CAF, and Brazil with CONMEBOL – so it is difficult to know who has responsibility for governing this match and that is one of the questions we are asking FIFA this morning,” said Powar.

“Generally, what we would be doing is presenting information to FIFA to have the Tunisian FA sanctioned because that is the way football regulation works,” continued Powar. “I guess the Tunisian FA would say, ‘Well this was in Paris, we don’t know if this was one of our fans, we don’t know where the ticket was bought.'”

“So there are a whole load of issues which could get into the way of justice for Richarlison. I’m hoping that the French authorities can identify the individual through CCTV and then arrests can be made.”

“We’ve already been in contact with FIFA, they are aware of it, and looking into it.”

A recent report in England found that hate crimes were up 99% last campaign compared to the season before. There were 384 reported cases during the 2021/22 season in England and Wales alone.

PHOTO: IMAGO / PanoramiC