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Barcelona's Neymar target of racist chants at Espanyol - Andres Iniesta

Barcelona star Neymar was subjected to allegedly racist chants during Saturday draw at local rivals Espanyol, his teammate Andres Iniesta confirmed.

Though manager Luis Enrique declined to comment on the chants, Neymar's teammates called for the individuals responsible to be punished.

Iniesta told reporters after the game that he had heard racist chanting "in one corner, in the first half, from one supporter."

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Defender Gerard Pique said while he did not personally hear the abuse, he called for sanctions for individuals involved if they could be identified.

"If that happened, obviously they should be charged and the correct measures taken," Pique said in the mixed zone after the game. "Those who did it are responsible, not the Espanyol fans [in general]. They should be identified and singled out one by one."

Neymar was allegedly the target of racist chants on Saturday at Espanyol.

There was a very raucous atmosphere at the RCDE stadium for the game between the Catalan capital's two top-flight clubs, with some home fans also taunting Luis Enrique and Lionel Messi.

Asked at told his post-match news conference for his views on chants coming from the crowd, the Blaugrana coach paused before answering and then declined to comment.

"I am only interested in the game of football," he said shortly. "If I talk about something, I get criticised. If not, I get criticised too."

During the match, former Barca vice president Toni Freixa, who is no longer at the club, wrote about the abuse on his personal Twitter account -- saying he hoped referee Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez would officially record what had happened so that official action could be taken.

"I hope that the racist chants at Neymar are included in the referee's report," the tweet said.

However, the referee made no mention of any misconduct from the crowd in his official report.

Racism at La Liga grounds has been a serious issue through recent years, with Barca right-back Dani Alves drawing attention to the problem when he picked up and ate a banana thrown onto the pitch during a game at Villarreal in May 2014.

Villarreal were fined €12,000 on that occasion, while the fan who had thrown the banana was banned from sporting events for two years.

Individual supporters of clubs including Real Betis, Atletico Madrid and Elche have been punished for racist abuse, but other occasions in which large groups of people sing offensive or racist songs have often been ignored by the authorities.


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