Alfonso Perez Burrull has become the first Referee in Spain to halt a game due to racist abuse. Burrull stopped the game between Malaga and Espanyol on 20 February 2005 after Malaga fans “Monkey chanted” Espanyol’s Cameroon keeper Carlos Kameni. The ref told club officials to make a public announcement, asking their fans to decease the racist abuse, before commencing the game. The tannoy announcement was repeated during the half-time break.
“The first time the Espanyol goalkeeper intervened you could hear monkey noises coming from behind the goal so I asked for the game to be stopped to ask the Malaga delegate to make an announcement on the loudspeakers. I asked them to repeat the announcement at halftime in order to remind spectators to refrain from racist behaviour.”
Burrull has been one of the few Spanish referees who have reported racist abuse. Although racist incidents are common in Spanish football, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) usually only takes action when the incidents are mentioned in the referee’s match report.