Soccer Boss Rebuked for Anti-Arab Insult
Paraguay’s soccer association has suspended a Jewish team president for hurling racial slurs at a colleague of Arab descent.
During a match last month, the president of Asuncion’s Olimpia soccer team, Marcelo Recanate, accosted Juan José Zapag, the president of a rival team.
Recanate will be suspended for four months and suffer a 60-month reduction in pay, Dr. Raul Prono of the ethics committee of the Association of Football in Paraguay said on Thursday.
In a recording of the incident, Recanate is heard repeatedly cursing Zapag “and all of his countrymen.”
Recanate has apologized for the insults in a press conference, which he convened shortly after the incident.
“I want to offer my apologies to the father of my fathers all the way to Abraham, and the patrimony of the Jewish and Arab people. There can be no place for racism against my brothers,” he said at the press conference.
Olimpia has won 39 national titles, more than any other team in Paraguay.
The main representative organization of Paraguay’s Jewish community, UHP, wrote to the national soccer association to say that the organization and the Jewish community “condemn and reject all forms of discrimination on grounds of origin, race gender or sexual orientation.”
The letter was signed by the president of the community, Jack Fleischman, and its external relations secretary, Julio Levy.