Peru’s Cultural Ministry Demands Action Against Racism in Soccer Match

Peru’s Ministry of Culture condemns a racist incident at a Liga 1 soccer match, calling for sanctions and educational measures against discrimination.

In a response that underscores the nation’s intolerance for racial discrimination, Peru’s Ministry of Culture has vehemently condemned a racist act that unfolded during a recent Liga 1 soccer match. The incident, which saw a fan of the local team, ADT, throw a banana at a player from the opposing team, Cienciano of Cuzco, has sparked widespread outrage and a call for immediate action.

The Ministry, expressing its repudiation through an official statement, announced its intention to promptly communicate with the Peruvian Soccer Federation (FPF) to initiate the appropriate sanctioning actions within its purview. Furthermore, it plans to offer referees training on the matter to reinforce a zero-tolerance stance towards such reprehensible behavior.

Highlighting the legal framework, the Ministry reminded that current legislation exists to prevent and penalize violence at sporting events. According to FPF regulations, any spectator guilty of racist acts is subject to a ban from all sporting venues for up to two years. Additionally, the host soccer club bears responsibility for its spectators’ misconduct, with the possibility of facing fines for such incidents.

The Ministry’s statement strongly condemned the dehumanization of individuals of African descent by ADT fans, pointing out the act as a manifestation of the deep-seated stigmatization against the Afro-Peruvian community. It noted that such incidents in mass gatherings reveal the pervasive nature of racism in various social spaces, further normalizing differentiated treatment based on skin color and physical features.

To combat this public issue, the Ministry reminded citizens of the available channels for reporting ethnic and racial discrimination, offering free legal guidance and support.

Racist Gesture During Cienciano’s Goal

The racist gesture occurred shortly after Aldair Rodríguez scored the opening goal for Cienciano in the 41st minute of the match against ADT, marking the league’s second round. Television cameras captured the moment a banana was thrown onto the field from the East stand by a spectator of the local team.

Cienciano’s forward noticed the incident and alerted the match referee, Micke Palomino, who paused the game at Estadio Unión Tarma in the central department of Junín.

Broader Conversation Sparked on Racism

Following the match, Cienciano itself issued a statement condemning the racist attitudes displayed during the game and urged the FPF to implement significant measures and enforce relevant sanctions against the despicable act. The club’s statement emphasized that such behavior contradicts the ongoing fight against discrimination, which should be actively promoted within the sport and beyond.

Also read: World’s Highest Stadium Approved by Conmebol for Copa Libertadores Matches in Bolivia

This incident has not only cast a shadow over the sporting event but has also ignited a broader conversation about racism in sports and society at large in Peru. The Ministry of Culture’s proactive stance and call for sanctions represent a critical step towards addressing and eradicating racial prejudice, signaling a commitment to fostering a more inclusive and respectful environment in all aspects of Peruvian life.

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