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The professional footballers association of Costa Rica (Asojupro) calls on the football family of Costa Rica to jointly fight racism and violence against players. Last Sunday March 31st three players were victim of misbehaving fans.


During Sunday's game between Cartaginés and Herediano (a 2-1 win for Cartaginés), some Cartaginés fans spat at Esteban Granados, a Herediano player, while others shouted racist insults at Herediano defenders Waylon Francis and Derrick Johnson.


On Monday, Asojupro reacted via a press release: ‘Deplorable actions were repeated yesterday, when the players Derrick Johnson and Waylon Francis were insulted for the colour of their skin. We know that these actions are not isolated: on the contrary, such situations occur daily, both in our country and in other latitudes.’


Last month, Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense) received racist and other offensive insults on his Facebook account.


‘Asojupro reiterates its position against racism in football, calling on the clubs, along with players, training staff, managers, the authorities, the media and the fans, to support the various campaigns demanding respect and equality in our football.’


‘We remind all of them how important it is to remember that football is a sport that respects the dignity of all persons equally, giving no importance to their race, religion, nation or other factors: we are all human beings under equal conditions, and we all have the same right to be respected.’





Footballers attacked and robbed
On 23 February, Leonel Moreira and Olman Vargas (both Herediano) were brutally assaulted and robbed by a group of football fans while having dinner in a restaurant.


After a 1-1 draw with Carmelita, Vargas and Moreira were in the Taco Bell restaurant in La Aurora de Heredia, when a fan approached them to ask for an autograph, but insulted them and head-butted Vargas. That sparked off a fight inside the restaurant.


‘As far as I can remember, I received a heavy blow in the face from a forearm, and I don’t remember anything more after that. When I regained consciousness, I was in my home’, said goalkeeper Leonel Moreira.


Vargas, for his part, says he had to protect himself, for he was attacked by six persons at once. ‘What happened is, the game ended and we went to buy a take-away meal, and around eight people came in to queue up, and one of them came up and insulted me and head-butted me on the nose. At that instant, all those who were with him came down on top of me.’


‘In those circumstances, what you do is protect yourself, there’s no way you can fight, and it was thanks to a gentleman who got involved and tried to help me that more didn’t happen’, he explained, saying he took a heavy blow on the nose.