Gambian goalkeeper Dembo Touray was subjected to racist abuse and pelted with bananas by opposing fans while playing for Swedish champions Djurgarden on Monday. Touray was shocked by the fans' action in the match Djugarden lost 3-0 to Hammarby.
He said that the racist action, which suggests that he is a monkey, affected his performance during the game:
“I am more disappointed than angry. These sort of people should not be allowed in a stadium. I couldn't do anything. I was only trying to focus on the match but it was difficult.”
Dembo said it was unfair for a player to be attacked because of his colour and expressed hope that no other black player will go through a similar experience.
Coach Anders Linderoth described the fans actions as being 'very stupid,' while the club's chairman, Henrik Appelqvist, has promised to deal sternly with those involved in racist behaviour.
“This is unbelievable and indefensible. We will investigate and punish those who are responsible,” said Appelqvist.
Hammarby officials have promised to investigate the incident. Touray's experience is not an isolated incident in the current Swedish season. Congolese player Patrick Manilza of division two club Vasalund/Essinge had been told to “go back home and live on trees” by his club coach, who was subsequently sacked for the racist outburst.