Dani Alves banana incident: Villarreal fined €12,000 after abuse of Barcelona star but escape stadium ban

Club punished after banana was thrown at Alves during game last month

Villarreal have been fined but have escaped a stadium ban as punishment for the banana-throwing incident involving Dani Alves.

The Barcelona wing-back sparked a social media campaign against racism last month as scores of his fellow professionals showed their backing for his decision to eat a banana thrown at him by an opposition fan at Villarreal's El Madrigal stadium.

A 26-year-old man was arrested and accused of racially insulting the Brazil international, and faces from one to three years in prison if found guilty. He has also been banned by Villarreal from attending home matches for life.

The Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol (RFEF) disciplinary committee confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that the club has been fined as a result of the fan's behaviour, with reports suggesting the fine amounted to 12,000 euros (£9,846).

"The competition committee has agreed to punish Villarreal CF with a fine after breaching article 106 for a degrading act towards a rival in relation to his racial or ethnic origin during the game that took place on April 27 against FC Barcelona," an RFEF statement read.

The Spanish Football League (LFP) on Monday also issued a statement addressing recent incidents of racism in Spain, announcing the introduction of obligatory training courses for clubs.

"The Liga de Futbol Profesional and in particular, its department of integrity, strenuously condemns any act of discrimination, violence, racism, xenophobia or intolerance in the world of football and sport in general," it said in its statement.

"In this sense, the LFP warns that it is taking steps, before the anti-violence commission in sport, to introduce sanctions for serious violations of the 2007 anti-violence, xenophobia, racism and intolerance in sport law against those who have been involved in such incidents over the past few matchdays.

"In all cases, the LFP will punish this type of behaviour and announces that the prevention of these acts will come in the form of obligatory training courses for all clubs associated with the LFP."

Neymar, Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez and women's star Marta were among those who posted pictures of themselves taking bites out of bananas in tribute to Alves' actions.

Alves was taken aback by the response he received for his unconventional response to the banana incident.

"All the support has surprised me," he told Radio Globo. "It was a super spontaneous reaction I made without thinking about the repercussions."

He added: "My reaction was to pick it up and take a bite. It wasn't pre-planned, because I couldn't imagine that a banana would be thrown onto the pitch.

"I think a negative attitude has to be met with a positive one. That makes more difference than trying to fight in a different way."

PA

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