DONETSK: The world players’ union FIFPro have asked the Ukrainian football federation to overturn a red card handed to Shakhtar Donetsk forward Taison after he reacted to racist abuse from the crowd in a match on Sunday.
The Brazilian player stuck his finger up at a section of the stadium occupied by Dynamo Kiev fans and then hoofed the ball into the stands after hearing the abuse during Shakhtar’s 1-0 win.
He was in tears as he left the pitch.
“Millions of people around the world have seen the disturbing images of Taison receiving a red card after he lost his temper because of racist abuse directed at him by supporters of Dynamo Kiev,” said the letter to the Ukrainian FA and league which was seen by Reuters.
“He began to cry out of frustration as he left the pitch. I am sure you will share our concern about what happened.”
“As representatives of professional players, we ask you to symbolically withdraw the red card. Any punishment of him would send out the wrong message from the football community, the country of Ukraine and its people towards racism.”
Following the Uefa-recommended protocol, an announcement was made asking fans to stop the abuse before the referee then took the players to the dressing-room for five minutes.
The third step of the protocol, which would have been to abandon the match, was not implemented.
Dynamo have said that any blame of their fans would be premature until the investigation is completed but added they were “ready to help isolate offenders from football and society”.