Senegalese striker Demba Ba has been the victim of alleged racial insults during a Chinese Super League (CSL) game on Saturday, according to his Shanghai Shenhua coach Wu Jingui.
The former Chelsea and Newcastle player was allegedly abused during Shenhua’s 1-1 draw against Changchun Yatai by opponent midfielder Zhang Li.
Various Chinese media reports claim that Zhang repeatedly shouted ‘you black’ towards Ba after he collided with one of the midfielder’s teammates.
"I learned that a Yatai player used insulting language toward him," the Shanghai Shenhua coach said.
"Around the world, it has been stressed that there should be no insulting speech toward black athletes. The Chinese Super League has players of many different skin colours. We should respect our opponents and there should be no discrimination."
Chinese FA has launched investigation
The Chinese Football Association (CFA) said in a statement that it had launched an investigation regarding Saturday’s events.
"If this is true, there will be stern punishment in accordance with the rules," it said.
"We oppose racist behaviour in any form."
If these racial insults are proven to be true, the guilty party could face tough sanctions from the CFA who will want to eradicate any controversy of this kind.
‘You’re not alone, Ba’
The 33-year-old Senegalese has not commented publicly on the affair; however, he has retweeted anti-racism posts on his personal Twitter account.
African football stars Frederic Kanoute, Didier Zokora, Asamoah Gyan and Moussa Sow have shown their support for Ba.