HomeEntertainmentSpanish TV station Movistar issue apology after 'racist' Lamine Yamal comment

Spanish TV station Movistar issue apology after ‘racist’ Lamine Yamal comment

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Barcelona refused to conduct any interviews with the Spanish broadcaster (Picture: Getty)

Spanish television broadcaster Movistar Plus have issued an apology after pundit German Burgos made a derogatory comment about Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal on air.

The former Atletico Madrid assistant, who was working as an analyst for Wednesday’s Champions League matches, made the controversial remark during the warm-up prior to Barca’s 3-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes.

As Yamal, who was born in Barcelona to Moroccan and Equatorial Guinean parents, was doing keepy-ups on screen, Burgos said: ‘If football doesn’t work out, he’ll end up at a traffic light’.

The comment was a reference to immigrants in Spain who juggle for change at traffic lights and was condemned online, with many viewers feeling it was insensitive at best and, at worst, racist.

Following the remark, players and managers from both Barca and PSG refused to conduct any interviews with the TV station after the match.

Informing viewers of Barcelona’s decision to boycott all interviews, Movistar presenter Ricardo Sierra said: ‘I understand that many spectators expected us to have a conversation or interview with Barca.

‘But PSG and Barca have notified us that they are not going to speak to us because they are tremendously angry with a comment that was made on our set.’

Burgos was assistant to Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid (Picture: Getty)

Following the backlash, Movistar have now released a statement apologising for the comment and say they will take steps to ensure such incidents do not happen again.

The statement read: ‘With regard to the incident of the unfortunate comments made by one of the Movistar Plus+ collaborators in the preview of the Champions League match between PSG and Barcelona about the Barca player Lamine Yamal, the platform apologises publicly.

‘Movistar Plus+ condemns any type of discrimination and will not allow this type of comment from any of the staff or collaborators linked to the platform.

‘Following what happened, the platform with adopt the appropriate measures to ensure that these events do not occur again.’

Burgos apologised on air for his comments but he has also now released a statement, saying: ‘I make this statement reiterating my apologies for my words on yesterday’s programme. It was not my intention to cause harm of any kind to Lamine Yamal, the people of Barcelona, the players, UEFA, nor to the Movistar Plus+ platform where I work.

‘When making my comment I chose to make a joke about quality and praise the skill, in no way was [the remark] about ethnicity or social class.’

He added: ‘I apologise to anyone who was offended by my comment. My intention was not to disparage Lamine Yamal, quite the opposite.

‘Football unites everything and everyone, that is why it is the best sport since it does not discriminate based on sex, race, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation. This is what I believe! See you in football!’

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