Revista: Outrage over banana incident shows change in attitude, says Guillem Balague

Last Updated: 07/05/14 4:34pm

The reaction to the Dani Alves banana incident shows attitudes towards racism are changing in Spain, Guillem Balague told Revista de la Liga.

The Barcelona defender had a banana thrown at him during Tata Martino's side's 3-2 win at Villarreal on Sunday.

Alves reacted by eating the banana and proceeding to take a corner immediately, prompting a hugely positive reaction on the internet, as well as outrage at the man who threw the fruit in the first place.

"Where does this come from? Where does this idea that this is funny come from"

Guillem Balague

Spanish football expert Balague told Revista both clubs reacted well to the incident.

But he questioned why the person responsible chose to do it.

"I think Villarreal did what they had to do," he said.

"In the evening, via social networks, they said 'we are going to do our best to get these people - or whoever it was - punished'.

"Barcelona even said it's not a matter for Villarreal, it's an individual who did this. "

Changing

What pleased Balague most was the fact the other Villarreal fans condemned the behaviour, and he believes it shows progress in a country blighted by racist issues in football in the past.

"After 24 hours, there were calls made by other season ticket holders pointing to where he was [sitting] - a 25-year-old who doesn't belong to any 'ultra' group, and that's the worrying thing," he added.

"Where does this come from? Where does this idea that this is funny come from?

"Give us credit [in Spain] for at least changing.

"From the time when we played England and there were monkey chants to [Shaun] Wright-Phillips and to others, to now. That day hardly anybody complained about that in Spain.

"Now, every [newspaper] has got a big page saying 'this shouldn't be done, this is wrong, look at what Alves' reaction was'. The other players have tweeted pictures of themselves eating bananas, and other stuff like that.

"There is a general reaction that this is wrong. The education is working, and we just have to go on with it."