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Diakhaby maintains racist slur claim after La Liga says no evidence

·2-min read
Valencia's French defender Mouctar Diakhaby says he was racially abused

Valencia's Mouctar Diakhaby said on Monday he will persist with his claim of being racially abused despite La Liga insisting there was no evidence.

The French player said he hoped the Spanish football federation, which has the final say, would prove him right over the incident that has received widespread coverage in Spain.

"The probe is ongoing," Diakhaby told French radio station RMC.

"Juan Cala has not been cleared yet," he said of the player he alleges abused him.

A furious Diakhaby walked off the field after being involved in a heated exchange with Cala and claimed the Spanish player had used a racist slur towards him in the first half of the game in Cadiz last Sunday.

Valencia's players left the pitch in solidarity with Diakhaby, becoming the first top-flight Spanish team to make such a protest.

The players later returned to resume the match, with the club claiming they were told they would be punished if they refused to return.

"We still have to go before the Federation's judge," Diakhaby said Monday.

"La Liga said they found nothing, but the Federation is looking into it."

"I feel La Liga wanted to protect the image of Spanish football," he said.

La Liga said it used an external company to analyse TV pictures, sound recordings and material from social media.

Spanish radio station Cope said microphones picked up Cala telling Diakhaby "Damn it, leave me alone", then apologising by saying: "Sorry, don't get angry."

But it reported that investigators had found no evidence that Cala had used racist language.

Diakhaby, a 24-year-old former Lyon player who has been at Valencia since 2018, said on social media that he had been racially insulted, adding: "That is intolerable, I cannot allow that and you have all seen my reaction."

Cala, a 31-year-old defender insists he has been a victim of a "circus" and a "witch-hunt" and he was "astonished and embarrassed" when Valencia left the pitch.

eba/bpa/dmc/td