Dani Alves abuse: Sepp Blatter labels banana incident an 'outrage' as Alves sparks ingenious social media trend
A number of player including Neymar, Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero have copied Alves decision to eat a banana thrown at him during Barcelona's 3-2 win over Villarreal
Tuesday 29 April 2014
Barcelona defender Dani Alves sparked an ingenious social media campaign against racism in football as support flooded in from fellow professionals for his decision to eat at banana thrown at him by an opposition fan.
Neymar, Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez were among those who posted pictures of themselves taking bites out of bananas in tribute to Alves' unconventional actions in his side's Primera Division match at Villarreal on Sunday.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has branded the abuse directed at Alves an "outrage" and promised zero tolerance towards discrimination at the World Cup, while Villarreal took swift action by identifying the culprit and handing them a lifetime stadium ban.
Alves' response to the banana being thrown on to the pitch in front of him as he prepared to take a corner was to nonchalantly pick it up, peel it and take a bite before continuing with the game.
The 30-year-old, who has been the victim of racist abuse before during his time in La Liga, said: "You need to take these situations with a dose of humour."
Players across Europe paid homage on Twitter and Instagram, including Suarez, who served an eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra.
Alves' Barca and Brazil team-mate Neymar led the way after posting a picture on Instagram of himself holding a banana, while writing "We are all monkeys".
Balotelli, AC Milan's former Manchester City striker, posted a picture of himself in a similar pose.
Suarez posted a picture on Twitter of himself and Liverpool team-mate Philippe Coutinho taking bites out of bananas, along with the words: "#SayNoToRacism #WeAreAllMonkeys."
Argentina and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero put up an image of him and Brazil women's superstar Marta eating bananas, accompanied with the message: "With my colleague Marta from Brazil we say #NoToRacism. We are all equal."
Barcelona teammate, Neymar, showing his support for Dani Alves Tottenham trio Emmanuel Adebayor, Nacer Chadli, Moussa Dembele and Liverpool's Brazil midfielder Lucas Leiva all gave Alves their backing.
Blatter admitted he was appalled by the treatment of Alves.
The FIFA chief said on Twitter: "What DaniAlvesD2 tolerated last night is an outrage. We must fight all forms of discrimination united. Will be zero tolerance at #WorldCup."
Mario Balotelli shows his support for Dani Alves after the Barcelona star was racially abused Barca gave their player their "complete support and solidarity" and thanked Villarreal for their "immediate condemnation" of the incident.
Villarreal later revealed they had, with the help of fans, found out who the culprit was, had withdrawn their season ticket and banned them from the El Madrigal stadium for life.
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech 'to ask' for Arsenal move to keep his family in London
England 'favourites' to host 2018 World Cup after Sepp Blatter resignation - Qatar and Russia under pressure
Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez saves female fan from police in amazing gesture
Sepp Blatter quits as Fifa president live: Chuck Blazer exposes decades of bribery and back handers in explosive testimony
Brendan Rodgers' job safe for now but Liverpool owners plan for improvement
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 4 Amy Schumer: 'I'm 160lbs and can catch a d**k any time I want'
- 5 Isis executes three gay men by dangling them from top of 100ft building and letting go
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers