Great Britain

‘You’re playing into the hands of racists’ says Fifpro after Taison is banned

Football’s world players’ union Fifpro has described the decision to ban the Shakhtar Donetsk captain Taison – for reacting to abuse – as playing into the hands of racists.

Earlier this month, the Brazil international made an offensive gesture towards Dynamo Kiev fans and then kicked the ball into their section of the stand before the referee led all the players off in the 77th minute. The 31-year-old has now been handed a one-match ban by the Ukrainian FA.

Video footage showed Taison and his Brazilian team-mate Dentinho leaving the pitch in tears after both had been targeted, while they were consoled by several Dynamo players.

Taison was shown the red card by the referee immediately after the match – played at Shakhtar’s temporary home at the OSK Metalist stadium in Kharkiv – had resumed.

“We are very disappointed by the decision of the Ukrainian FA to hand Taison a one-match ban,” said Fifpro on Thursday.

“Sanctioning a victim of racial abuse is beyond comprehension and it plays into the hands of those who promote this kind of disgraceful behaviour.”

The Ukrainian Association of Football fined Dynamo Kiev £16,000 and ordered them to play one match behind closed doors. The club will also be on probation for the remainder of the season.

“It’s terrible when such things happen in football,” said Shakhtar midfielder Marcos Antonio after the match. “The game needs real fans instead of the people who come to the stadium and behave like that, not respecting the athletes.

“We need to work on this because such episodes upset us all.”

After the incident, Taison wrote on his Instagram account: “I love my race, I fight for colour, whatever I do is for us, for love...I will never shut up in the face of such an inhuman and despicable act!

“My tears were of indignation, repudiation and helplessness, helplessness that I could do nothing at that moment! But we are taught very early to be strong and to fight! Fight for our rights and for equality!”

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