While there is a general feeling of frustration over the Diakhaby case, I think in some regard it was a step forward. It’s true that Valencia could feel humiliated over the fact they believe their player was racially insulted and although the players left the pitch in solidarity with him, they were forced to come back out. Valencia returned to the game without the player who had been allegedly insulted, while Cádiz came back with the alleged offender, who was, it is true, taken off at the break. For the time being, Cala is protected by the presumption of innocence, which also explains the referee’s, correct, approach. He didn’t hear anything, meaning he couldn’t take any action against Cala.
Valencia decided to come back out
On that basis, if Valencia had decided not to come back out that action would have been the only thing able to be taken into account, not the cause which saw them leave the pitch in such a dignified manner. The consequence, under a cold, hard application of the rules would have been a 3-0 defeat, plus a three-point penalty. I think that if Valencia had not come back out nobody would have dared hit them with the three-point penalty, but the club right now is a ship without a proper captain who could properly analyse the situation. The decision, which should have been that of the club, was left in the hands of the players and they decided to head back out, urged on by Diakhaby, who did not want to be the cause of a situation that could put the club in danger of relegation.
Step forward in the fight against disgusting racism
A day having passed since, proof against Cala is yet to appear. The game finished, Valencia lost. It feels like a bad outcome from the general idea of what should happen in the wake of a serious racist insult. In any event, whether that was what happened or whether it was a highly unlikely mistake on the part of Diakhaby, the incident has had a major impact, and raised awareness. The fact a team left the pitch, even if it was only for a few minutes, is a step forward for Spanish football in the fight against these disgusting racist insults. There wasn’t a perfect solution on the night, but things are better than they were before. The reaction from Diakhaby and his teammates was not in vain.