Skip to main content

Villarreal give life ban to rogue fan who threw banana at Dani Alves

By Tom McGowan and Paul Gittings (CNN)
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dani Alves eats banana thrown at him during a soccer match
  • The Barcelona player was taking a corner at Villarreal's El Madrigal stadium
  • NEW: FIFA president Sepp Blatter calls incident an "outrage"
  • NEW: Villarreal find culprit and have banned him for life

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Barcelona's Dani Alves reverted to humor when dealing with racist abuse but it has proved no laughing matter for the Villarreal fan who threw a banana at him during Sunday's match after being handed a life ban by the La Liga club.

Villarreal issued a statement Monday saying it "deeply regrets" the incident. "The club has identified the person responsible and has decided to withdraw his membership card and prohibit access to the El Madrigal Stadium for life," it added.

Brazilian international Alves was taking a corner during Barca's 3-2 win when the banana landed at his feet. Maintaining his composure, Alves picked up the banana, peeled it and took a bite and got on with the game.

"Dani Alves owned him," tweeted the Brazilian's teammate Neymar. "Take That bunch of Racists. We are all Monkeys So What."

Dani Alves has been applauded for his response to being racially abused during a football match. The Barcelona player had a banana thrown at him during Sunday's game at Villarreal, so he picked it up and took a bite out of it before continuing to play. Dani Alves has been applauded for his response to being racially abused during a football match. The Barcelona player had a banana thrown at him during Sunday's game at Villarreal, so he picked it up and took a bite out of it before continuing to play.
Dani Alves bites back
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
>
>>
Dani Alves bites back Dani Alves bites back

Former England international Gary Lineker, who played for Barcelona, also applauded Alves' quick thinking. "Utterly brilliant reaction from Alves," tweeted Lineker. "Treat the racist berk with complete disdain."

Storify: Stars show solidarity with Alves

After the match, the 30-year-old Alves posted a clip of the incident on Instagram, joking his father had always told him to eat bananas to prevent cramp.

It's not the first time the Barcelona defender has been targeted -- in January 2013 Alves claimed he was abused during Barca's Copa del Rey semifinal match against archrivals Real Madrid.

England midfielder Danny Rose claims he was subjected to monkey chants before, during and after the second-leg of their Under-21 Euro 2013 playoff match against Serbia on Tuesday, and had stones thrown at him by the crowd in Krusevac. Fans also ran on to the pitch and scuffles broke out after a 1-0 win secured England qualification for Euro 2013. England midfielder Danny Rose claims he was subjected to monkey chants before, during and after the second-leg of their Under-21 Euro 2013 playoff match against Serbia on Tuesday, and had stones thrown at him by the crowd in Krusevac. Fans also ran on to the pitch and scuffles broke out after a 1-0 win secured England qualification for Euro 2013.
Serbia scuffles
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Soccer racism in Eastern Europe Soccer racism in Eastern Europe
Tito Vilanova worked under Pep Guardiola as his assistant at Barcelona between 2008-2012. The pair helped transform the team into one of the greatest of all time, winning a whole host of trophies, including two Champions Leagues and three Spanish La Liga titles. Tito Vilanova worked under Pep Guardiola as his assistant at Barcelona between 2008-2012. The pair helped transform the team into one of the greatest of all time, winning a whole host of trophies, including two Champions Leagues and three Spanish La Liga titles.
Tito Vilanova dies aged 45
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
Tito Vilanova dies aged 45 Tito Vilanova dies aged 45
David Moyes is back in football management after agreeing a deal to coach Spanish club Real Sociedad. It is the Scot's first job since being sacked by Manchester United in April after being hand-picked to take over at the club by his predecessor Alex Ferguson. David Moyes is back in football management after agreeing a deal to coach Spanish club Real Sociedad. It is the Scot's first job since being sacked by Manchester United in April after being hand-picked to take over at the club by his predecessor Alex Ferguson.
The Real deal
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
>
>>
David Moyes: The story of his season David Moyes: The story of his season

"We have suffered this in Spain for some time," he told reporters. "You have to take it with a dose of humor."

"We aren't going to change things easily. If you don't give it importance, they don't achieve their objective."

As well as banning the culprit, Villarreal also said they would act swiftly again if a similar incident occurred in the future.

"Villarreal football club again states its firm stance in favor of respect, equality and good sportsmanship and a clean game both on the playing field and off it, and states its total rejection of any act that goes against those principles, such as violence, discrimination, racism or xenophobia."

Sunday's match was Barca's first game since the death of former coach Tito Vilanova on Friday.

Barca went 2-0 down against seventh-placed Villarreal before launching a stirring fightback in the final half hour.

A Gabriel Paulista own-goal on 65 minutes gave Tata Martino's team hope before a second own goal, this time from Mateo Mussachio, levelled the match with 12 minutes remaining.

Argentina star Lionel Messi won the match for Barca in the 83rd minute to leave the Catalan club four points behind La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid with three matches left to play.

The two teams meet on the final day of the season.

Read: Advantage Atletico after Valencia win

During 2013 European football was hit by several incidents of racism, notably when Kevin Prince-Boateng walked off the pitch during a friendly match between his then club AC Milan and a lower-league Italian side.

That incident prompted FIFA to introduce tougher sanctions for racist abuse and the president of the world governing body, Sepp Blatter, was quick to condemn the treatment accorded to Alves.

He tweeted: "What @DaniAlvesD2 tolerated last night is an outrage. We must fight all forms of discrimination united. Will be zero tolerance at WorldCup."

If you don't give it importance, they don't achieve their objective
Dani Alves

Under the sanctions, punishments for first offenses bring a warning, fine or clubs being forced to play games in empty stadiums. A second offense, or one deemed "serious," could result in demotion, a deduction of points or expulsion from a tournament.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches in December 2011 after he was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

A second lengthy ban was imposed on the Uruguayan towards the end of the 2012-13 season after Suarez bit Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, meaning he missed the first five games of the current Premier League season.

But since his return, Suarez has been sensational. He has scored 30 league goals to spearhead Liverpool's title challenge and on Sunday his contribution was recognized after he was named the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year.

It was a bittersweet day for Suarez with the award coming hours after Liverpool's 2-0 defeat against Chelsea.

The defeat ended Liverpool's 11-match winning run and handed the initiative to Manchester City in the race for the championship.

Read: Ronaldo brace in Real Madrid romp

Read: Ryan Giggs off to a winning start

Part of complete coverage on
Racism in sports
June 9, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
The man who hastened Sterling's departure isn't ready to call it a done deal.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
A woman sued Donald Sterling, alleging that he sexually harassed her and made her uncomfortable with racist remarks -- and that he once fired her after she objected.
May 12, 2014 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling says he's sorry but feels he was "baited" to make racist comments.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 0229 GMT (1029 HKT)
The NBA's commissioner orders Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling out of his team's business over racist remarks.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off during an AC Milan soccer match in Italy, but Dani Alves turned to humor in dealing with racist abuse during a Spanish league game.
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Dani Alves' response to a fan throwing a banana at him during Barcelona's trip to Villarreal on Sunday drew huge praise from the football world.
April 28, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
The players in the National Basketball Association spoke out Sunday about racist comments attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
April 28, 2014 -- Updated 2236 GMT (0636 HKT)
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a billionaire real estate mogul who's owned the team for more than three decades.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
West Bromwich Albion's French striker Nicolas Anelka looks on during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England, on January 1, 2014.
England prides itself on being the home of football, but is the nation dysfunctional in dealing with racist abuse?
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
"Move on, Jews! Your home is at Auschwitz! Send you to the gas (chamber)!"
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 2324 GMT (0724 HKT)
French soccer star Nicolas Anelka has decided to quit English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion following his punishment for making a controversial "quenelle" gesture.
October 12, 2013 -- Updated 2011 GMT (0411 HKT)
Team owners strongly dispute any racism behind the mascot and won't change it, saying the Redskins name honors "where we came from, who we are."
September 12, 2013 -- Updated 2014 GMT (0414 HKT)
Tottenham Hotspur fans have seen the term
English football fans have been warned they face criminal prosecution if they continue to chant a word which has been deemed anti-Semitic.
May 31, 2013 -- Updated 1809 GMT (0209 HKT)
FIFA approved tougher penalties for racist behavior, including possible relegation, in a move that one anti-racism organization said will bring soccer "in line" with other sports.
ADVERTISEMENT