Vinicius "sorry" but calls racist behaviour "unacceptable”
APOEL’s Brazilian midfielder Vinicius apologised for his gesture towards AEK Larnaca fans, but also said their behaviour was “unacceptable” which led to his outburst.
In a fiery Protathlima CYTA title clash on Sunday, which ended 1-1, the 30-year-old star made a finger gesture to the visiting fans after saying that aggressive racist chants were aimed at him.
"I want to apologise publicly to all Cyprus sports fans, because I made a gesture that is not honoured for a man [to do],” said Vinicius.
“As a professional footballer I should not react in this way. I am ready to suffer the consequences for my actions, as I learned to do since the day I was born.
“I want simultaneously say that it is unacceptable to be racist to black players with these attitudes to attack victims,” affirmed the Brazilian.
“Some AEK fans verbally attacked me with racially aggressive and vulgar monkey sounds, with other fans applauding them.
“It is not worth it for a beautiful country like Cyprus to have people with such behaviour.”
“HE’S NOT CRAZY”
APOEL Spokesperson Nektarios Petevinos, told Radio Proto this morning: "The player apologised publicly for his gesture and his honour is evident [for all to see].
“Cyprus football has such behaviour on more than one occasion, and we must continue our efforts to eradicate it,” affirmed Petevinos.
“The player is not crazy to do it [his gesture] without reason. There was racist behaviour from [AEK] fans to him.
“Such behaviour must be condemned."
In an eventful encounter, which also saw AEK goalkeeper Ruben Mino ruled out for nine months with an injury, police arrested three AEK fans for trouble outside the GSP Stadium before kick-off.
Around 20 minutes before the clash, around 100 AEK supporters tried to reach the Main Stand and attack APOEL fans, according to a police announcement.
While going through body checks by security staff, the fans attacked and attempted to push through the railings.
Police restored order and initially arrested a 28- and 44-year-old, before monitoring CCTV footage and arresting a 39-year-old.
The three were taken to Nicosia Police HQ, where they were detained pending further investigations.
Nicosia Police are investigating.