Most online soccer betting fans are critical of the sport – especially non-European leagues – for the perceived lack of sportsmanship that runs rampant in the game. Generally fans excoriate the sport because of the willingness of players to fake an injury in hopes of drawing a foul. The image of a player taking a nosedive after being touched by an opponent is all too common in professional soccer. This causes most sportsbook players to view professional soccer players differently than they view other athletes. What transpired this past weekend in Serbia’s professional soccer league will certainly not help change that perception.
Partizan Belgrade’s star Everton Luiz, who is of Brazilian descent, left the pitch in tears after being antagonized by the home team’s fans and players alike, who abused the professional soccer player by berating Luiz with racial remarks the entire game. Online soccer betting fans are used to seeing a player overcome with emotion after a poignant victory, but seeing a player driven to the point of tears from verbal abuse is a sight seldom seen.
Specifically, every grace of the ball by Luiz was met by howls and jeers of monkey noises from the home crowd. Luiz’ team the Belgrade’s were facing off against their local rivals Rad. Luiz was overcome with distress and once regulation had ended the Brazilian player decided to make an obscene gesture to Rad’s fans which was caught on camera.
Luiz’ postgame reaction to the insults sparked a massive brawl as the home team’s fans confronted the player at the end of the game. In the end, both sides’ staff had to rush the field to separate the players, something sportsbook fans don’t often witness in professional sports leagues.
“I couldn’t hold back the tears as I had to face racist insults from the terraces for 90 minutes,” Luiz later told the media. “I was even more shocked by the attitude of opposing players who, instead of calming things down, backed this behavior.”
“Fans must be reprimanded.”
The Serbian Football Association felt the same way and on Monday issued this online soccer betting statement.
“Due to the misbehavior of their fans who racially insulted a player, Rad’s stadium has been suspended until the Serbian Football Association passes a verdict,” league commissioner Vladimir Bulatovic stated.
“The suspension means no first division games will be played at the venue until a final decision is made and disciplinary proceedings have been opened up against all parties involved in the incident.”
Those who bet on soccer avidly know that this isn’t the first racist incident involving Serbian soccer fans. Five years ago, Serbian fans chanted racially fueled remarks at a Black English player during a sub-21 international match. Furthermore, UEFA handed Serbia a severe reproach in 2012 after a Euro qualifier against Italy in Genoa was scrapped due to vandalism caused by Serbian fans. UEFA ended up awarding Italy full points in response.
While most sportsbook fans will be happy to see the fans get punished for their unacceptable behavior, Luiz is equally as guilty for his lack of professionalism at the end of the match. Sure no one enjoys being berated by the ignorant, but as a professional Luiz should know that he has to uphold himself to a certain level of conduct, not steep to the levels of his provokers.