La Liga says no evidence of racism found after studying Cala footage

Diakhaby reacted furiously after an altercation with Cala in the 28th minute of the game, believing the defender has used derogatory language related to the colour of his skin. — Reuters pic
Diakhaby reacted furiously after an altercation with Cala in the 28th minute of the game, believing the defender has used derogatory language related to the colour of his skin. — Reuters pic

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MADRID, April 9 — La Liga said it had found no evidence Cadiz player Juan Cala directed racist language at Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby during a game on Sunday.

Spain’s football league said today it analysed audiovisual material available from the game, as well as hiring a lip reading expert in order to investigate the accusations.

Diakhaby reacted furiously after an altercation with Cala in the 28th minute of the game, believing the defender had used derogatory language related to the colour of his skin.

The match was stopped for 25 minutes and French defender Diakhaby was substituted by coach Javi Gracia for the restart. Cadiz went on to win the game 2-1.

Spaniard Cala has denied racially abusing Diakhaby.

“Following an analysis of the elements available to La Liga, it can be concluded that no evidence has been found of Juan Cala using the denounced language towards Mouctar Diakhaby,” a Liga statement read.

“In concrete, all available television and digital archives from the game have been examined as well the audio footage from the game, the images that were broadcast and what was shared on social media.

“In order to complete the report, a specialist company was hired to do a lip-reading analysis of the conversations and study of the players’ behaviour.”

“La Liga has shared these reports with the clubs involved and the relevant authorities so that they form part of the proceedings that are currently taking place.”

The Spanish football association’s (RFEF) own investigation into the matter remains ongoing.

Valencia acknowledged the receipt of La Liga’s report and highlighted the fact that the governing body was unable to determine everything Cala said during the incident.

“According to the videos and audio available, the investigation cannot confirm ‘EVERY’ word that Diakhaby heard in the 28th minute of the game last Sunday vs Cadiz. The fact that no proof has been found does not mean that the matter did not occur,” a club statement read.

“The club have by no means changed our opinion on what occurred in the game, and maintain our full support for Diakhaby.

“Our objective is to see a change and an appropriate reaction to such a serious incident, and to see moves to change regulations and attitudes when it comes to facing these problems whenever they may occur.” — Reuters

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