Spain-based Zimbabwe international and UD Llanera goalkeeper Martín Mapisa was subjected to racial abuse in a Spanish Segunda División RFEF – Group 1 match against CD Palencia Cristo Atlético on Saturday.
The 23-year-old promising goalminder, who is on loan from Zamora CF, was the target of shouting from the CD Palencia Cristo Atlético fans, who repeatedly shouted monkey chants at him during the match.
The incident drew match officials’ attention, who warned fans over the stadium’s public address system to stop the behaviour.
Palencia Cristo has officially apologized to Mapisa for the racial insults he received. The club also said they are investigating the incident to identify the perpetrators and take action, and are even considering closing the north end of the stadium for the next match.
— Martin Mapisa (@MartinMapisa18) April 25, 2022
“From CD Palencia Cristo Atlético we want to show our outrage and ‘strongly condemn the scandalous racial slander’ that occurred in last Saturday’s game,” the club said in a statement.
“First of all, our apologies to Martín Mapisa, on behalf of the club and all our fans, nobody deserves these insults that do not represent our club or our fans.
“There is no place in sport or society for any kind of discriminatory behaviour. Such disgusting behaviour threatens the sports spirit, the values of our club and a total lack of respect for all the people who, with their work and effort, try to make football a benchmark of union between different communities, social sectors and countries of everyone.
“These incidents only reinforce our club’s commitment to fighting against all forms of discrimination, the club will take action in this regard by applying the strongest possible sanction to all those responsible.”
The statement continued: “From the club, we hope that the requested collaboration takes effect and that the identification of the person in charge is completed, otherwise the club cannot fail to act accordingly and in the absence of identification of the person in charge, the funds of the sector will be closed north (among other measures) from where these disgusting and intolerable behaviours took place, for the next meeting in La Balastera.
“Our followers must understand that if we do not act, there is no point in publishing a written conviction because it would be forgotten, in these cases, everyone must act, the first to set an example, those who have heard it must identify themselves. themselves because the events harm the club, it harms the responsible fans, which is the vast majority, and above all, it harms our city and sportsmanship.
Mapisa, who has reportedly attracted interest from top Spanish clubs in recent months is currently on a half-season loan at UD Llanera from Zamora FC set to expire on June 30.
Both UD Llanera and Zamora FC play in the Primera Division RFEF-Group 1 a new third tier Spanish division that replaced the old Spanish Segunda B.
The Aces Youth Soccer Academy (AYSA) graduate has played for a number of Spanish lower league clubs since his arrival in Spain four years ago.
Initially, his blossoming football journey in Spain began in 2018 when he signed for a seventh-tier club CD Almunecar.
He then established himself in the lower league division and in less than a year he signed for Velez CF.
This was before he put pen to paper with his current club Zamora FC who are four divisions up the seventh tier league.
The youthful goalkeeper made his senior national team debut last year in November when the Warriors lost 2-0 to neighbours Zambia at the National Sports Stadium in a dead rubber AFCON 2021 qualifier.
Since then he has been getting national team call ups and was also part of the Warriors team that played at the AFCON tournament in January.