Brazilian Serginho says racist chants must stop in Bolivia

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — A Brazilian soccer player who was subjected to monkey chants during a recent game in Bolivia’s professional league says racism must come to an end in the Andean country.

Serginho stormed off the field Sunday during a Bolivian league game that his club Wilstermann lost 2-0 against Blooming.

The 34-year-old striker said Thursday that he had been discriminated from the kick-off, and that he preferred to leave the field because his family was watching the game.

“Every time I had the ball, they’d shout: Monkey! Gorilla!” he said. “A precedent must be set once and for all.”

Blooming condemned the racist chants, but it also filed a complaint demanding that Serginho be suspended for leaving the game. The club argues that he taunted their fans. Meanwhile, Wilstermann has filed a complaint against Blooming in the same court, seeking a sanction against the racist noises emitted by its fans.

Other players have denounced racist incidents in Bolivian soccer, but no sanction has been taken against those acts so far.