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Mallorca probing another racial-abuse incident after fan makes monkey gestures at Real Madrid game

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MADRID (AP) — Spanish club Mallorca said Sunday it was working with authorities to identify the fan who made monkey gestures after Real Madrid midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni scored a goal in a Spanish league match this weekend.

The young fan was seen on television appearing to make the monkey gestures as Madrid players celebrated Tchouaméni’s goal early in the second half at Son Moix Stadium on Saturday. The fan then threw a plastic water bottle onto the field and Madrid players quickly showed it to the referee.

The Spanish league said it was going to formally report the racial abuse to the appropriate authorities.

It said it “vehemently condemns any racist acts and will continue working to eradicate this inexcusable behavior from our sport.”

Mallorca said it “will not tolerate any manifestation of racism” and noted that it “actively participates in all campaigns to eradicate this scourge that goes beyond sport.” In its statement, it said it didn’t want the “isolated case” to tarnish the image of Mallorca fans.

It wasn’t the first time Madrid players complained about being subjected to racist abuse in a match at Mallorca. Vinícius Júnior said he was called a monkey during a league match there last year and the fan has been accused of a hate crime. Both Vinícius and the fan appeared before a judge during the probe. Mallorca banned the fan for three years.

Mallorca, partially owned by NBA greats Steve Nash and Steve Kerr, made headlines recently after reaching the Copa del Rey final. It lost the decider to Athletic Bilbao earlier this month.

There were several cases of racial abuse against Vinícius since he arrived in Spain six years ago. An incident in a league match last season prompted an outpouring of support for the Brazilian and a series of actions by local officials to boost the fight against racism.

But there was another wave of cases of abuse against him recently, just before Spain hosted the “One Skin” friendly against Brazil at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to highlight the fight against racism.

No one has stood trial in Spain in a case of racial abuse in professional soccer.

Madrid won Saturday’s match 1-0 thanks to Tchouaméni’s second-half goal. It leads the league by eight points over defending champion Barcelona.

Mallorca sits in 15th place six points from the relegation zone.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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