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Brazil forward Richarlison racially abused as fan throws banana at him during 5-1 victory over Tunisia in France

<i>Justin Setterfield/Getty Images</i><br/>Brazil beat Tunisia in a heated match in which Dylann Bronn received a first-half red card.
Justin Setterfield
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Brazil beat Tunisia in a heated match in which Dylann Bronn received a first-half red card.

By Alasdair Howorth, CNN

Brazil’s impressive end to its World Cup preparation was overshadowed by racist abuse as forward Richarlison had a banana thrown at him by a fan during the 5-1 victory over Tunisia in Paris on Tuesday.

The Tottenham Hotspur star scored Brazil’s second goal but as he celebrated a banana was thrown at him among other objects. Teammate Fred was then seen kicking the banana off the pitch.

After the match Richarlison posted on Twitter: “As long as they stay ‘blah blah blah’ and don’t punish, it will continue like this, happening every day and everywhere. No time bro! #racismonao [racism no].”

Brazil’s football federation (CBF) released a statement condemning the actions of the perpetrator and called for stronger action against racism.

“Unfortunately a banana was thrown on the pitch towards Richarlison, scorer of the second Brazilian goal,” read a CBF statement on Twitter.

“The CBF reinforces its position to combat racism and repudiates any manifestation of prejudice.”

CBF President Ednaldo Rodrigues later added: “This time, I saw it with my own eyes. This shocks us. We must always remember that we are all equal, regardless of color, race or religion.

“The fight against racism is not a cause, but a fundamental change to sweep this type of crime from the planet. I insist on saying that the punishments need to be more severe.”

CNN Senior Sports Analyst Darren Lewis tweeted: “Football has always known that you address racism by docking points & throwing clubs/countries out of competitions. Zero tolerance.

“Until then, players should walk. Surely one day they will realise their commercial power & take action across the board.”

Prior to kick off, Brazil’s players had posed in front of a sign that read, “Without our black players, we wouldn’t have stars on our shirt.” The stars refer to the record five World Cup titles that Brazil has won.

The players made the statement in response to the racist abuse that Brazil winger Vinicius Jr. had experience from Atletico Madrid fans in the Madrid derby.

The Real Madrid star was subject to abusive chants, including monkey chants, before and throughout the match.

“They say that happiness bothers,” Vinicius said on his experience. “The happiness of a victorious black Brazilian in Europe bothers much more.

“But my desire to win, my smile and the sparkle in my eyes are much bigger than that. You can’t even imagine it. I was a victim of a xenophobic and racist comment. But none of that started yesterday.

“Weeks ago they began to criminalize my dances. Dances that are not mine.

“They belong to Ronaldinho, Neymar, [Lucas] Paqueta, [Antoine] Griezmann, Joao Felix, Matheus Cunha … they belong to Brazilian funk and samba artists, reggaeton singers, and black Americans.

“Those are dances to celebrate the cultural diversity of the world. Accept it, respect it. I’m not going to stop.”

Other players like compatriot Gabriel Jesus had already raised the issue of Vinicius’ abuse. The Arsenal forward paid tribute to his Brazil teammate by performing Vinicius’ celebration when he scored against Brentford 10 days ago.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino was at Tuesday’s game at the Parc des Princes.

“FIFA strongly rejects any form of racism and violence and has a very clear zero tolerance stance against such behaviour in football,” said football’s world governing body on Wednesday.

“FIFA will investigate the incident in yesterday’s game in Paris.”

The Tunisian football federation has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.

The-CNN-Wire
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Lizete Dos Santos contributed to this report.

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