By Phil Blanche, PA
A LaLiga investigation has found no evidence that Cadiz defender Juan Cala racially abused Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby last weekend.
The Valencia team walked off the field during the 2-1 defeat at the Estadio Ramon de Carranza after Diakhaby claimed he was racially insulted by former Cardiff player Cala.
Valencia returned to complete the match without the substituted Diakhaby, and on Tuesday responded to Cala’s denials over the alleged abuse by saying “we don’t believe you” on their club website.
— Cádiz Club de Fútbol (@Cadiz_CF) April 9, 2021
LaLiga said in a statement on Friday: “LaLiga has communicated to the clubs involved and the corresponding authorities the result of the investigations carried out to resolve what happened between Cadiz CF and Valencia CF players.
“After analysis it is concluded that proof has not been found in any of the means available in LaLiga that the player Juan Torres Ruiz (Juan Cala) insulted Mouctar Diakhaby in the terms denounced.
“All available television and digital archives, audios of the match, broadcast images and what was released on different social networks have been examined.
“A specialist company was also hired to perform a lip reading analysis of the conversations of the players Juan Torres Ruiz and Mouctar Diakhaby.
“LaLiga has shared these reports with the clubs involved and the corresponding authorities, so that they form part of the files that are currently underway.”
The investigation of the Spanish Football Federation remains open.
Cadiz retweeted LaLiga’s notification of its decision, while Valencia insisted that “the fact that no proof has been found does not mean that the matter did not occur” and again gave unwavering support to Diakhaby.
A Valencia statement read: “LaLiga have provided us with reports and findings from their investigation into the racial abuse received by Mouctar Diakhaby in the game against Cadiz, as well as explaining the methodology used to carry out the investigation.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT | LALIGA REPORT
— Valencia CF 🦇🍊🌊 (@valenciacf_en) April 9, 2021
“According to the videos and audio available, the investigation cannot confirm ‘EVERY’ word that Diakhaby heard in the minute 28 of the game last Sunday vs Cadiz. The fact that no proof has been found does not mean that the matter did not occur.
“Valencia CF wish to highlight that LaLiga have carried out their own investigation, but that the club have by no means changed our opinion on what occurred in the game, and maintain our full support for Diakhaby.
“Our objective is to see a change and an appropriate reaction to such a serious incident, and to see moves to change regulations and attitudes when it comes to facing these problems whenever they may occur.
“Regardless of the fact that the facts subject to the investigation have not been fully confirmed, due to there not being a complete recording of the incident, we highlight that LaLiga have attempted to clear up what occurred in Cadiz.
“Valencia CF consider it positive that conversation has begun to establish new protocols that are necessary to combat racism in football. We are proud of Diakhaby, our captains, our players, our coach and his staff for their reaction during the game against Cadiz.
DIRECTO | Rueda de prensa de Juan Cala https://t.co/N2XGpovtbB
— Cádiz Club de Fútbol (@Cadiz_CF) April 6, 2021
“This was an unprecedented incident in football, but we are convinced that it will serve as an impetus for real change to the rules.
“Having reached this point, it is necessary to continue working with LaLiga, the institutions and the rest of the club’s to ensure that these types of racist incidents are never repeated.”
Diakhaby posted a video on social media on Tuesday in which he detailed the alleged abuse, stating Cala had called him a “black s***”, which was “intolerable” and “cannot happen in normal life and especially in football, which is a sport of respect”.
But Cala denied the claims made against him at a press conference. He dismissed all of Diakhaby’s comments as “false” and said he would take legal action against “all the people who have tried to play on my honour”.