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The Peruvian professional footballers' association, SAFAP, deplores and condemns the shameful racist insults against the Panamanian footballer Luis Tejada, during the match opposing Juan Aurich to Cienciano on Sunday March 1st.

In a special statement, SAFAP President Francesco Manassero added: "We urge the authorities to take drastic measures and that the regulations apply rigorously to prevent acts like this happening again in Peruvian professional football. The issue of racism has to be kept in mind at all sporting venues and throughout the annual football calendar. "

SAFAP in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture, the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF), the Sports Association of Professional Football (ADFP), professional clubs, professional football players and the print media have met on several occasions to campaign against racism with slogans like "Let's Score Goals Against Racism" - "Show Racism The Red Card" - "Warning Against Racism". These campaigns aim to inform and mobilize the public in the fight against racial discrimination and to contribute to a sporting environment free of racism, violence and discrimination.

President Manassero tried to contact Tejada, through the Technical Director of the club Juan Aurich (Roberto Mosquera). He told that Tejada thanked his teammates for their support, as well as his followers in social networks. Similarly, he appreciated the concern of SAFAP in its attempt to reach him. He feels much more at ease and mentally prepared now for his upcoming matches.

Overall, his teammates supported him at all times, and even the opposing team also responded to the racist insults against Tejada approaching the crowd to tell them they were doing wrong when expressing themselves in that way.

SAFAP made a call to the players to denounce any act of discrimination against them. SAFAP recalled that the players are part of FIFPro, the organisation that brings together the world's footballers' unions, which promotes among its members and encourages the ongoing fight against racism.

Also read: FIFPro shows solidarity with Luis Tejada's decision

 

Luis Tejada on the incident

"There were racist insults said from the start of the warm-up. There were passages during the game when they were repeated, and nobody did anything. Then when I was caught offside the insults were even stronger.

"I could not take it any longer, and I just went to kick the ball in a gesture of protest or impotence, seeing that nobody was doing anything. I wanted to make clear that I reject something that we are not learning about and not taking seriously in this sport.

"I left the field as a show of protest against the racist insults and gestures. I do not understand why the referee continued the game. What more has to happen? I am sure there is no blow you can compare to this sadness. I have a family, my children, I do not want these types of situations to happen."