1:06 AM UTC May 27, 2016
Leg 1
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AEK Athens
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6:45 PM UTC May 27, 2016
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Republic of Ireland
6:45 PM UTC May 27, 2016
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11:00 PM UTC May 27, 2016
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Neymar says he didn't hear racist abuse directed at him against Espanyol

Luis Enrique refuses to comment on whether Neymar was the target of racial abuse in their draw with Catalan rivals Espanyol.

Neymar says he was not aware of any alleged racist abuse from fans during Barcelona's derby at Espanyol on Saturday.

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta had said after the game that he had heard racist chanting "in one corner, in the first half, from one supporter."

However, Neymar has told TV station La Sexta: "I did not hear anything. It is difficult for things to bother me, I just play football."

Former Barca vice president Toni Freixa, who is no longer at the club, also wrote about the abuse on his personal Twitter account, but referee Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez made no mention of any misconduct from the crowd in his official report.

Neymar was allegedly the target of racist chants on Saturday at Espanyol.

Espanyol president Joan Collet said the whole of his club's fans should be blamed

"I was there, just like 30,000 people and nothing happened," he said. "The whole thing blows up for one shout, but there was nothing generalised, it's a lie."

Racism at La Liga grounds has been a serious issue through recent years, with Barca right-back Dani Alves drawing attention to the problem when he picked up and ate a banana thrown onto the pitch during a game at Villarreal in May 2014.

Villarreal were fined €12,000 on that occasion, while the fan who had thrown the banana was banned from sporting events for two years.

Individual supporters of clubs including Real Betis, Atletico Madrid and Elche have been punished for racist abuse, but other occasions in which large groups of people sing offensive or racist songs have often been ignored by the authorities.


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